Integration of COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunisation services appropriate

There is growing recognition of the potential for integration of services such as routine immunization as the way forward for vaccination. The Ashanti Health Directorate with funding support from UNICEF has equipped Health Promotion Officers with the knowledge and skills in demand generation for the COVID-19 vaccines in the routine immunization service delivery in the region. Routine Immunization plays a vital role in health service delivery in the region and the country at large. The Immunization Agenda 2030 emphasizes the importance of embedding immunisation services within health care delivery as the basis for achieving both high vaccination coverage and universal health care. As a well-established point of contact with most of the population: families and communities, vaccination services can be an entry point for the delivery of more essential services and contribute to improvements in access. Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Director of Health Services in an interview with the Ghana News agency (GNA), said integration of COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunisation services was the way to go. ‘Integrating COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunization is a strategic approach to achieving broader vaccination coverage and public health goals,’ he said. The implementation of the intervention, according to him, would increase accessibility and convenience because routine immunisation programmes were already well established in all districts. He further stated that, ‘Integrating COVID-19 vaccines into these existing routine health service delivery in our facilities will make it easier for people to access vaccinations, especially those living in remote or underserved areas within the region.’ The Regional Director noted that the integration of the COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunization would also help the region’s health service delivery to reach the populace to address their fears and mistrust of the vaccines. It would also maximize vaccination coverage due to Routine immunisation already designed to reach a large proportion of the population, including infants, children, adolescents, and adults, Dr. Tinkorang submitted. ‘By incorporating COVID-19 vaccines into these, the coverage can be expanded to include all eligible age groups, contributing to achieving herd immunity more effectively in the region as we wait for National Immunization Days where mobile teams will be used to reach the large population,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency