The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate has stepped up stakeholder engagements to encourage the public to accept and participate in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise as the festive season approaches.
The Directorate has been engaging traditional and religious leaders as a strategy to reach out to the larger population due to their influence in society.
It has consequently met the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs to solicit the support of the House on the ongoing National COVID-19 Vaccination exercise which is set to end on December 18.
The goal is to achieve herd immunity and also protect as many people as possible ahead of the yuletide to prevent another wave after the festivities.
Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, Regional Director of Health Services, at a meeting with religious leaders in Kumasi, reminded the participants that the fight against COVID-19 was not over.
The trend of the disease, he said, shows that the country recorded a new wave every six months and called for a concerted effort to eliminate the disease completely.
The Regional Director said the target of the Directorate was to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population in the Region, disclosing that only 48 percent had been fully vaccinated.
He said 68 percent had taken the first dose and urged such people to voluntarily go for the second dose in the interest of public health.
Dr. Tinkorang also advised organizers of public events during the festive season to insist on safety protocols as a civic responsibility toward the protection of lives.
Madam Charity Nikoi, Social Behaviour Change Communication Specialist, at UNICEF, underlined the need for the participants to lead the campaign as leaders for the collective good of society.
She said vaccination was the surest way to protect against COVID-19 and urged religious leaders to be ambassadors against vaccine hesitancy.