‘The training has helped us feel confident in handling the vaccines’
Dr Elysee Ama Bonsu Karikari-Agyeman
is a pharmacist from Ghana and former chair of the Community Practice Pharmacists’ Association (CPPA). She took part in a training session on COVID-19 vaccines organised by GIZ on behalf of BMZ and is now sharing her knowledge.
How is the training helping to fight COVID-19 in Ghana?
After months of waiting, we finally took delivery of the first batch of vaccines in March 2021. Since then, we have been receiving vaccines from various sources, including COVAX. Ghana’s strategy involves vaccinating particularly vulnerable population groups first, such as health care staff and the over-60s. The training has helped us feel confident in handling the vaccines because we maintain the cold chain and protect ourselves appropriately.
How can you boost confidence in the vaccine?
As an advisor in the health sector, I stress that the vaccine is safe. Some people have religious or political reservations, but now we can tell them about the advantages and possible side effects of the vaccination. Studies confirm that the vaccination is necessary and effective. We report possible side effects to Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority.
How are you passing on the information from the training?
We are training pharmacists to administer the vaccination. Ghana’s 5,000 pharmacists form an important network, particularly in rural areas.