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Compulsory COVID-19 vaccination good step, says IEA

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has backed the government’s directive for compulsory COVID-19 vaccination.

Speaking with Beatrice Adu on the Big Bulletin (December, 20), the director of research at the IEA, Dr John Kwakye said the government’s enforced vaccination order is a step in the right direction.

“We understand they are still researching and that the data based on the number of new cases is inclusive. On the whole, I’ll say that the government’s actions are in order. They’ll certainly have economic consequences but as the president has always said, you can bring the economy back but you can’t bring dead people back. So I think it is only proper that the government implement those strict measures,” he stated.

Earlier this month, Dr Aboagye da Costa, the director of health promotion with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), says officials will kick-start compulsory COVID-19 vaccination in the country in January 2022.

Dr da Costa also 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 da Costa 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 [and for] which the minister will announce the date, all these modalities will be in place so that people’s rights are respected …”

Confused opposition?

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, has lashed out at his party’s communications officer, Sammy Gyamfi, for kicking against the government’s decision to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for all travellers leaving and visiting the country.

Reacting to the Ghana Health Service’s directive, Gyamfi said “vaccination must be by choice and not by force,” adding that the directive is an affront to the 1992 Constitution and pledged to use every legitimate means possible to resist the “madness, no matter the cost or stigma.”

However, in a sharp response on Twitter, George said the policy is constitutional and a good step taken by the Akufo-Addo-led government to protect Ghanaians.

“Compulsory vaccination upon entry to the Republic? Infringement of rights or public health policy? This is sound public health policy and a very good step by govt. I support it and hope it is implemented vigorously. Public health considerations supersede personal liberties,” George tweeted.

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