The House of Parliament is demanding not less than 6000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for its constituents.
According to the Legislature, the 2000 doses allocated to the House for both members and staff of the Parliamentary Service is not enough.
Speaker of Parliament, Rtd Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, who made the demand on Wednesday, stated that the legislature goes beyond the 275 members, the 574 staff of Parliament, the support services and the auxiliary staff to include the spouse and four children of each MP.
That, he said, is the responsibility of Parliament on the health of members and their families.
He stressed that the legislature will therefore need not less than 6000 doses of the vaccine.
The Speaker made the demand when he informed the House of a letter he had received from the Korle Klottey Municipal Health Directorate on the ongoing vaccination exercise.
The letter indicated that 2000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been made available to Parliament for both members and staff.
“This is for your information but I want to indicate that 2000 will not be sufficient for the legislature.”
“And that we need not less than 6000 doses and that is the information for the authorities,” he said.
The Speaker was asked whether MPs could take the jab in their various constituencies in other to allay fears and encourage public participation.
The Speaker indicated it is good to show leadership and therefore he would be leading the House for the exercise.
He said, “That is why I tried to clear all doubts from the minds of everybody. I will be leading the legislature in this exercise.”
“I don’t stop you from also leading your constituency in this exercise but in fighting for the legislature I have to fight for all the constituents and members of the legislature and that is what I have just done.”
Rtd. Hon Bagbin stressed it is good to show leadership everywhere as honourable members of the House.
Ghana has received the first consignment of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, which is one of two vaccines that have been approved and declared as safe-for-use by Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
Vaccination began on Monday with President Nana Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia taking the jab publicly along with their spouses to allay public fears.
Some prominent personalities have also been vaccinated and include the Asantehene Osei Tutu II, the National Chief Imam, Ga Mantse among many others.
The exercise is currently ongoing in 43 districts regarded as the epi-centres of the pandemic in the country and they include 25 in Greater Accra, 16 in Ashanti, and 2 in the Central Region and is expected to continue till 15th March 2021.
Meanwhile the population, through the National Vaccine Deployment, has been segmented into four groups for the vaccination exercise Plan.
Group 1 is categorised as “persons most at risk and frontline State officials” and includes healthcare workers, frontline security personnel, persons with underlying medical conditions, persons sixty (60) years and above, and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
Group 2 is made up of other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies. It includes water and electricity supply services, teachers and students, supply and distribution of fuels, farmers and food value chain, telecommunications services, air traffic and civil aviation control services, meteorological services, air transport services, waste management services, media, public and private commercial transport services, the Police Service, Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and other members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature.”
Group 3 consists of the rest of the general public; that is all persons over eighteen (18) years, except for pregnant women.
The final group, that is Group 4, will include pregnant mothers and persons under the age of eighteen (18), and they will be vaccinated when an appropriate vaccine, hopefully, is found, or when enough safety data on the present vaccines are available. Special arrangements will be made for persons with disabilities who fall within these groups.