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Over 650,000 residents in Upper East Region fully vaccinated against COVID; region achieves herd immunity

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The Upper East Region has achieved herd immunity with regard to COVID-19 vaccination. This is according to the Upper East Regional Health Directorate. 

Herd immunity (or community immunity) is said to occur when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness), making the spread of this disease from person to person unlikely. Even individuals who are not vaccinated (such as newborns and the immunocompromised) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community.

Dr. Josephat Nyuzaghl, the Deputy Director of Health Services, told A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show that more than 80 percent of the Ghana Health Service’s target population in the Upper East Region has been fully vaccinated. 

COVID-19 struck Ghana in 2020. At the end of the year, according to Dr. Nyuzaghl, the region recorded “just 435 cases because we didn’t have enough testing centres. In 2021, we had the Navrongo testing centre and the regional hospital coming in. The number of confirmed cases in 2021 shot up from 435 in 2020 to over a thousand. In 2022, we saw a drastic decline in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, from 1,260 in 2021 to 174. Then in 2023, as we speak, we have just 3 cases, and it is because of the robust vaccination exercise we have carried out.”

“As we speak, for the persons we have been able to reach with just the first dose, out of a target of over 900,000, we have been able to vaccinate over 700,000. For the fully vaccinated, we have vaccinated over 650,000,” he said. 

According to the Deputy Director in Charge of Public Health, the Upper East and North East Regions have become front runners in attempts at COVID-19 vaccination. 

“For the Upper East Region, for those fully vaccinated, we are looking at 84 percent, and for the first dose, over 90 percent. You can say that for the region, we have already attained herd immunity.”

Bolgatanga Municipality, Bolgatanga East District, Bongo District, Garu District, and Nabdam District have fully vaccinated over 80 percent of the target population. 

“The rest of the districts are doing between 50 and 79 percent,” he added. 

Dr. Nyuzaghl explained that Bawku Municipality has still vaccinated less than 40 percent of its target population.

“Bawku is an isolated case because of the issues around security. They are still doing less than 40 percent of the fully vaccinated,” he said.

He commended all stakeholders for their roles in supporting the GHS’ rollout of the vaccination campaign.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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