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General News of Wednesday, 23 June 2021


AstraZeneca, Sputnik V vaccines effective against an Indian strain of coronavirus – GHS denies report

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, GHS Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, GHS

• GHS has denied reports that AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are not effective against the Delta strain of COVID-19

• This was contained in a press release copied to GhanaWeb

• Prof Gordon Awendare had said, vaccines may not be entirely effective against the Delta variant

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it is untrue for anybody to suggest that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are not effective against the new Indian Delta strain of COVID-19 which has been detected in Ghana.

Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, GHS, in a statement copied to GhanaWeb indicated that the claims were not backed by data.

“According to Public Health England (PHE), two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are highly effective against hospitalization due to the Delta variant and showed no deaths among those vaccinated.

A study conducted by Gamaleya Centre suggests that Sputnik-V is more efficient against the Delta variant of coronavirus first detected in India, compared to other COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement read in parts.

Professor Gordon Awendare, Head of the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens, WACCBIP, University of Ghana, told Joy Prime on Monday, June 21, that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines may not be entirely effective against the Delta variant.

“Now we have to be looking at the right vaccines. All this while, we’ve been fixed on AstraZeneca and Sputnik V but we have to shift towards more of Pfizer and others which have a better chance of protecting against this variant. Because the future is, we are going towards these aggressive variants,” he said.

But the Ghana Health Service (GHS) rejected this claim.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye’s statement noted the data available to the GHS “suggest that the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant”.

He assured Ghanaians that, “in the midst of global supply shortages, the MOH and GHS are diligently working with Government to ensure that adequate vaccines are procured to protect the population. The MOH, GHS and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) are working collaboratively to ensure that vaccines that come into the country are safe and effective.”

Dr Kuma-Aboagye, then urged, “Ghanaians to take advantage of [the] vaccination when their turn is due while entreating the general public to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention protocols i.e., wearing of face masks, practising of hand hygiene and physical distancing as part of the strategies."