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Health News of Wednesday, 19 May 2021


The most sought after commodity in the world now is coronavirus vaccine - Okoe-Boye

Former Deputy Minister of Health, Bernard Okoe-Boye Former Deputy Minister of Health, Bernard Okoe-Boye

Former Deputy Minister of Health Bernard Okoe-Boye has said coronavirus vaccine is the hottest commodity around the world currently.

He said big nations as well as smaller countries are all chasing after limited vaccines to protect the lives of their people against the dreaded coronavirus.

To that end, the former Lawmaker for Ledzokuku told Giovanni Caleb on the 3FM Drive on Wednesday, May 19, it is very tough to compete with these wealthy nations for the vaccines.

“The whole world, the most sought after commodity now is the vaccine. You have giants going after the vaccines, you have middlemen going after the vaccine and people of small weight."

“If the US and the UK are chasing the vaccine, Ghana too is chasing the same vaccine, Australia is chasing, China is chasing. Definitely, you know that it is going to be a tough battle. But I thank God that we are gradually covering the most at risk.”

Recently, President Nana Addo Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has attributed the delay in the arrival of the second doses of coronavirus vaccines into Ghana, to among other things, international vaccine politics.

As a result, the President said, Ghana has not been able to vaccinate the number of people “as we envisaged.”

Speaking at the May Day celebration on Saturday May 1 he said the government is working hard to vaccinate the people.

Professor at the University of Ghana, and Director of the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, Gordon Akanzuwine Awandare, has said Ghana will have to wait until the United Kingdom and the United States have all vaccinated their citizens then, the West African country can go and negotiate for the leftover vaccines for its people.

Prof Awandare said there is no sign that COVID-19 vaccines in sufficient quantities will be arriving in Ghana any time soon in order to inoculate the people.

He explained that the countries that produce these vaccines are now experiencing the worse form of the virus, hence are prioritizing their citizens over others.

He told Abena Tabi, host of the Key Points on TV3 Saturday May 1. The government of Ghana gave a 100% assurance to Ghanaians that they were going to be vaccinated against the coronavirus virus when the production of the vaccines is not in its control.

He told Abena that several Ghanaians who received the first dose of the COVID vaccines are concerned about when they will receive the second dose.

This concern, he said, is genuine because of the assurance given to them by local authorities that they were all going to be vaccinated.

“I see that a lot of people are angry and worried and all that. Yes, you have the right to be worried because maybe the mistake from our authorities was that they over-promised when they knew that this was not within their power to deliver on time."

“We should have been more cautious and realistic with the people. Some of us were saying that let us think about July, August and let us promise the people that you will get vaccines beyond July and August."

“When the UK is fully vaccinated, when the US is fully vaccinated then we can negotiate for left over vaccines but at this point you cannot guarantee the arrival of any vaccine in any sufficient quantities from anywhere,” Prof Awandaree said.

He added “I have not seen any evidence that we have a concrete assurance that millions of vaccines will arrive anytime soon.

“So I think we have to be realistic that maybe, we were overpromised but the reality is that this is beyond the control of any African government because they don’t have the capacity to make vaccines and they are relying on others to be generous.”

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