The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in West Akyem Municipality has urged chiefs and elders to encourage their subjects to accept inoculation of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to achieve herd immunity against the virus.
Madam Modesta Sapaty, the West Akyem Municipal NCCE Director, noted that a pandemic of such a global magnitude could only be slowed down faster if the vaccine developed was administered by quite a large number of people to attain herd immunity.
Madam Sapaty was speaking during Awukudae festival by the Chiefs and Elders of the Asamankese Traditional Council in the Eastern Region.
The people had met to observe the special day and take stock of their development projects and also address pressing social issues affecting the area.
Herd immunity or community immunity occurs, according to health experts, when a high percentage of a community is immune to a disease through vaccination, making the spread of the disease from person to person unlikely.
In this regard, even individuals not vaccinated such as newborns and the immunocompromised are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community.
Madam Sapaty highlighted the importance of a vaccine and said the COVID-19 vaccine was the only preventive measure available against the deadly virus disease, adding, the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine served to boost and activate the human immune system to be able to recognise and fight off the virus.
Madam Millicent Aba Quainoo, the Municipal Disease Control Officer at Asamankese Government Hospital, assured the chiefs of their safety as the AstraZeneca posed no threat.
She called on the people of West Akyem to avail themselves for the vaccination when the exercise was rolled out in the municipal area.
She also allayed the fears of people about the side effects of the vaccine and advised them to report any arbitrary effect to the nearest health facility.
Osabarima Nana Adu Dark III, Asamankese Chief, pledged his support to promote the COVID-19 vaccination sensitisation exercise among his subjects to ensure wider coverage.
He advised the people to continue to observe the COVID-19 preventive measures including wearing of nose masks and washing of hands under running water with soap.
In a related development, the NCCE has been carrying out public education on the COVID-19 vaccination exercise in communities among several groups within the West Akyem Municipality.
They include faith-based organisations, persons with disabilities, women groups and youth groups.