COVID-19 compulsory vaccination to start in January 2022 – GHS

Dr Aboagye Dacosta, the director of health promotion at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), says authorities will kick start COVID-19 compulsory vaccination in the country in January 2022.

Dr Dacosta said more Ghanaians will be inoculated by the end of 2021. 

Speaking with Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday (15 December), Dr Dacosta said, “Currently we are not doing any mandatory vaccinations. We have declared the month of December as the month of vaccination and this month of December intends to give the population enough opportunity to get vaccinated … So, before we come to the compulsory vaccinations which will kick start in January which the minister will announce the date; all these modalities will be in place so that peoples right are respected…”

He added, “… We were using the ‘above the line communication’; that was October-November and in that time there were also not much vaccines available. We started getting more vaccines just at the last quarter of this year and what we decided to do was to use what we call the social mobilisation approach; we mobilise communities, we started from the hotspots then some prioritised groups as well and some key points.”

Mandatory vaccinations

He said very soon authorities will be evoking Act 851 section 22 of the Public Health Act 2012 to make the COVID vaccinations mandatory in the country.

“What we have to know is that for the executive instrument it has to come from the president or the minister. Now, this is what I know, the president still chairs the COVID Taskforce, so we have a series of meetings. We do meet every week, and I’m sure that at our next meeting we will know. But, we already know what to do, obviously, you need to seek permission and others. 

“The Health Minister in his press conference made this clear that before this [mandatory vaccination] kicks in, he will come up with a date and time this mandatory vaccination and mandate will start. So in his mind, he was telling Ghanaians that; ‘yes, I know what to do because I can come with an executive instrument with permission to evoke this Act’.”

“But I think people are confusing this; we have not started the mandatory vaccination in the country but we are going to do it and it will be in January [ 2022] but the Health Minister will come up with a specific date.”

Campaign mode

Dr Dacosta emphasised that the GHS will intensify its campaign strategy in the coming days to get more people vaccinated.

“We started December creating the awareness, and the minister came in, and now we are moving into a campaign mode. I think from tomorrow or the next day, we are moving into a one week or two-week campaign mode, and we will be using both the social mobilisation and above the line communication.

“So we will be taking the vaccine to people. On Sunday, for instance, we will be going to churches, where there are events like the NPP delegates’ conference, where people are gathered, sports stadia and other things,” Dacosta said.

Asaase Radio