Paul Adom Otchere’s claim that vaccines have arrived in Ghana completely false

The host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Paul Adom Otchere, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, stated that Ghana’s nationwide vaccine shortage had been addressed. According to him, the Ghana Health Service had indicated that the vaccines had arrived as of that evening.

He also claimed the vaccines had arrived and were being distributed. This was in response to a caller who enquired about why the television show host had prioritised former President John Mahama’s campaign promise to scrap ex-gratia instead of the vaccine shortage.

The caller pointed out to him that Metro TV’s evening news also reported the vaccine shortage at a time there was a measles outbreak in the northern part of the country.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified Paul Adom Otchere’s claims and presents the findings below.

Claim:Where did you go to find that the vaccines have not come because they have started releasing the vaccines. The latest from the Ghana Health Service is that the vaccines have started being distributed as of this afternoon. There has been a vaccine crisis. But I am saying to you that the vaccines have arrived. At 5:15pm, they said the vaccines had arrived.”

Verdict: Completely False

Explanation: The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu in a press briefing on March 7, 2023, listed three childhood immunization vaccines, BCG, measles-rubella, and oral polio vaccines that were in short supply.

“The recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic,” he explained.

Mr. Manu added that some vaccines would be brought into the country within a few weeks.

This was barely six hours before Paul Adom Otchere’s claim on Good Evening Ghana.

A day after Mr. Otchere’s claim, President Akufo-Addo also fell short of giving a specific timeline for the arrival of the vaccines when he delivered the State of the Nation address(SONA2023).

He, however, promised that government would do everything possible to ensure that the situation was addressed.

“In accordance with our desire not to become part of this global trend, Government has taken steps to ensure that stocks of these vaccines are procured and supplied, as a matter of emergency,” President Akufo-Addo said.

This is also an indication that a day after Mr. Otchere’s claim there were still no childhood vaccines available. It is therefore totally false that the Ghana Health Service had received vaccines for distribution.

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