Vaccine shortage due to cedi depreciation – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has attributed the shortage of some vaccines used for routine immunisation of babies to the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi.

The shortage of vaccines has the potential to increase the vulnerability of children to the diseases the vaccines seek to protect them against.

Under the routine vaccination programme, Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease; oral polio vaccine 0 (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are administered.

Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious diseases that are particularly dangerous to babies are also among those administered.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, February 23, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service said, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said only three key vaccines are not available but all other vaccines are available.

“There are three key traditional vaccines that we had run out towards the end of the year, the poliovirus vaccine, the BCG vaccine and the measles-rubella vaccine. We were to procure in the fourth quarter of the year for 2023 but due to the currency fluctuations, the funds available in cedis could not meet up, so orders are being made now and in the next two weeks we will be able to catch up.”