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Editorial News of Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Source: GNA

Vaccinations, best protection against Coronavirus and complications

Ghana’s Coronavirus death toll is now 974 Ghana’s Coronavirus death toll is now 974

While many people have questions and apprehensions about the COVID-19 vaccinations, others claim the vaccines were rushed and therefore may not be effective against COVID-19.

Others, also based on rumours and misconceptions concluded that there was nothing like COVID-19 anywhere and that it was a strategy for the world pharmaceutical giants to make money through drug manufacturing including; the COVID-19 Vaccines.

Divergent views:

However, it appears that some of these misconceptions are phasing out as people are gradually accepting the vaccines with long queues at the various centres for the Johnson&Johnson single dose jabs.

Dr. John Ekow Otoo, Eastern Regional Deputy Director of Public Health described the development as good in the containment efforts adding that the best protection against COVID-19 and its complications was the vaccination and therefore urged the public to ignore the theories and myths against the vaccine.

He said studies and recent developments had shown that those who had taken the vaccine when infected with COVID-19 were less likely to develop the disease or get complications that required hospitalization.

Dr. Otoo debunked all the rumours that the vaccine could make men impotent and many other unsubstantiated facts while explaining that it was expected that people would react to vaccinations and COVID-19 was not different.

He explained that the call for people to still follow the preventive protocols such as wearing of the facemasks, handwashing, and social distancing was because many people were yet to be vaccinated and therefore the tendency of getting infected was high "that is why we ask people to keep to the protocols and it has nothing to do with the efficacy of the vaccines and it's backed by science" he stressed.

Dr. Otoo made this known in an interview with the GNA in Koforidua as part of the "Mobilising Media for COVID-19, a project being implemented by the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) across 12 countries in Africa to raise concerns about the impact of COVID-19 and efforts to contain the pandemic.

The viability of vaccines

Giving more insights into how vaccines including; the COVID-19 Vaccines works, he said the vaccine primed the body against the pathogen, which caused the COVID-19 to create the anti-bodies which would fight against the virus once it entered the body, and as with every vaccine people may react to it in different ways "you may have fever, fatigue and muscle aches and after taking the vaccine and that is a sign that your immune system is responding," he added.

He said considering the fact that "we hardly visit hospital's for check-ups is another reason for which everyone must disabuse their minds of the myths and theories and go for the vaccine whenever it is ready, because many people may not know whether they have any of the co-morbidities which aggravated covid-19 situations".

On Regional situation, he said the epidemic curve showed that there was an increase in transmission, and in the last few weeks the region's daily cases shot up drastically bringing the total recorded cases between January to August 15 to 2,658 with 106 deaths including six health workers.

About 31,000 people mainly health workers were vaccinated with the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccines out of which 872 received their second dose in the Region, in the roll-out of the vaccination exercise and expecting more of the vaccines.


About 1.7 million people above 18 years were estimated to be vaccinated in the Eastern Region and he indicated their readiness to continue the exercise once the vaccines were received adding that the Region had received 34 new cold fridges and vaccine carriers for all the Districts.

"Our cold chain system is ready and our team well trained and readied for the COVID-19 vaccinations using the protocols and existing structures for vaccination" and added that the delay in taking the second dose posed no health challenge and called on the public to continue with the observation of the protocols.

As of August 15, Ghana had recorded a total of 112,928 COVID-19 cases with 105,622 recovered and 945 deaths while 6,361 remained active cases according to the Ghana health service updates as the government made all effort to contain the third wave dominated by the deadly Indian variant.

So far the Ghana Health Service has administered 1,271,393 vaccines to Ghanaians, out of which 405,971 persons had received both jabs of the AstraZeneca representing 1.3 percent of the population, while 865,422 had received the first dose.

On Monday, the GHS began a new round of COVID-19 vaccination with 177,700 single-dose Johnson&Johnson vaccines purchased by the government of Ghana under the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) initiative, in parts of Greater-Accra and Tema metropolis and some areas in Kumasi metropolis.

In the early part of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out, many people interviewed by GNA in Koforidua were skeptical about the vaccine and those perceptions were formed by several myths and theories about the vaccine.

The delay in administering the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine after the first dose also confirmed fears of the public, however, the recent rush for the Johnson and Johnson single-dose shot vaccine in parts of Accra and Kumasi boosted people's confidence in the vaccine and are ready to go for their jabs once the Region had its share.

Yaw Preko, a businessman told GNA in an interview that he was skeptical about the vaccines especially when the second dose was delayed, but changed his perception when his friend was diagnosed with COVID-19 and nearly died, yet his wife and sister who were both health workers and lived in the same house did not get it.

He said, "my perception about the vaccine changed because my friend's condition was so critical that at a point he was on a ventilator, but amazingly his wife and sister who were caring for him until the COVID-19 all tested positive but were all vaccinated."

Mr. Preko said he had become a crusader in his community for people to get vaccinated and added that he went to visit his brother at Tema and took advantage to get vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson&Johnson saying "for the past three days I have not experienced anything contrary to what I was hearing" and called on the public to go for the vaccine for their own protection.

The adherence to the protocols in the Eastern Region was low and a cross-section of the public expressed worry over the disregard for the protocols and the lack of enforcement of the protocols on the part of authorities.

Experts in the region have described the situation as dangerous and have the tendency to increase infections and have therefore called on the people to vaccinate to protect themselves and others.

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