The administration of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents 15 years and above will start today, Friday, November 19, across the country.
Vaccinators from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) would visit Junior and Senior High schools to inoculate students, Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, Head of the Extended Programme on Immunisation (EPI), told the Ghana News Agency.
He said out-of-school adolescents could also get their jabs at existing vaccination centres in public and private health facilities.
“Most parents have been pushing for the vaccination of their children and now is the time for them to support the process and encourage their children to get the jab,” he said.
Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said the target was to at least administer first dose of Pfizer to adolescents in schools before vacation in December.
He said the exercise was to protect both adolescents and their parents and reduce infection transmission during the Christmas festivities as well as limit outbreaks in schools.
Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said presently, there were 1.3 million doses of Pfizer vaccines available in the country and that an additional 1.7 million doses were expected to arrive in the country before the end of November.
He urged private and public-school owners to allow the vaccination teams into the schools to administer the jabs.
Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in adolescents 15 years and above by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
Dr. Achiano-Amponsa said the vaccine was not different from what was administered to adults and that it still involved two shots and given three weeks apart.
He said the GHS would partner the GES to ensure that a school-based approach was used to vaccinate more adolescents in Junior and Senior High Schools.
Dr. Akosua Sika Ayisi, Deputy Director for Public Health, Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate, called on parents to allow their children to be vaccinated in schools or take them to the centres for the jabs.
She said the Service would target schools, adolescents’ clubs, community groups, churches, mosques and other religious groups.