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In Section 22 (1) of the Public Health Act, 2012, it states that “The Minister may by executive instrument, generally or with reference to a particular district, area, or place or with respect to a particular class or classes of persons, order the persons to whom the instrument applies who do not produce satisfactory evidence of successful vaccination, to be vaccinated by a public vaccinator, unless in the opinion of the public vaccinator the vaccination would be injurious to health.”
Asked if, or when the country gets to a point when some people refuse to get vaccinated for the novel coronavirus, should such persons be compelled to be vaccinated, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye said no.
He explained that while there are statutes like that in our books, such statutes, as the one above, are referred to as “reserved powers of the state,” and should not always be applied.
Instead, he is urging the authorities in charge to build interest and confidence in the hearts and minds of both those to be vaccinated, and those performing the vaccination exercises so that people make personal moves to get vaccinated.
Ghana took stock of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines from the COVAX facility in India, on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, making it the first country in the world to receive the doses from the facility.
Moments after taking his jab at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) in Accra, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye told some journalists at the hospital that he hopes that soon, majority of the populace will step out to get vaccinated.
“For a long time, I will think that it’s better to go tactically. When you make your people understand what they’re doing, to love what they’re doing, to do by their own volition what they are doing, it’s better. So, there are certain powers in the statute books which one can describe as reserved powers of the state. They are reserved; you don’t just start applying them so let them remain reserved for now and let us convince and satisfy our people to see whether they’ll respond. I trust that the vast majority will respond in no time,” he said.
The 600,000 doses now in the country will go to health workers, adults above 60 years, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, the legislature, the judiciary, and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers, and other professionals.