Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has urged Ghanaians to go for the COVID-19 vaccine, saying: “I’ve taken the jab, let everyone go for it”.
“If you refuse to get vaccinated and you catch the virus, then it’s your own burden to carry”, he said in an exclusive interview with Kwame Appiah Kubi on Accra100.5FM’s morning show Ghana Yensom on Wednesday, 3 March 2021.
Mr Kufuor took the jab in the full glare of the public on Tuesday along with his household.
His colleague ex-president, Mr John Mahama, also did same with his wife.
Other prominent personalities such as Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife as well as staff of the Manhyia Palace also got vaccinated on Tuesday.
Journalists also thronged to the Ghana Journalists Association to get vaccinated.
President Nana Akufo-Addo was the first to take the jab publicly on Monday together with his wife.
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife also did on Monday.
It was all part of the government’s effort to dispel safety concerns, myths and conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine.
Discrediting some of those myths, especially within the Christian community, the founder of Perez Chapel International, Bishop Charles Agyinasare, told his church members at the Perez Dome, Dzorwulu that the vaccines were God’s answer to the year-long praying and fasting of Christians for a divine intervention in the fight against the pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 600 lives in Ghana since March 2020.
“As a nation, we have been privileged to receive 600,000 vaccines and they’ve started deploying them but there are so many stories going on about the vaccine and I thought that as your pastor, I should make a few things clear to you”, he told the church.
“Last year was one year we prayed like never before. Every month we were praying and fasting for seven day. Every three months we fasted for two weeks and our prayer was to bring down the coronavirus and that a solution will be found. We prayed. Even though we believe God is a prayer-answering God, vaccines have been created and most Christians are saying that: ‘No, it’s too quick’. Did we not pray that God should provide? And God has done it and now we are saying it’s too quick. That means that even though we were praying, we weren’t really believing for it”, he observed.
Bishop Agyinasare said if people have been taking other vaccines over the years without dying, then he wonders why there is so much fear and conspiracy theories regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
“And some are saying that it’s an opportunity to kill all of us. If you’re travelling to most countries, if you don’t have a yellow card showing that you’ve been vaccinated against polio, yellow fever and many other diseases like that, they won’t allow you into their country.
“We travel with a yellow card and we don’t believe everybody is going to kills us. So, why should we think everybody is going to kill us?” he asked.
He continued: “So, if you need this to enter other countries and you get them through vaccination, in the same way, very soon, if you don’t have the card that shows you’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus, there are places you can’t go and, so, some Christians are saying that the card they are giving for the vaccination is the Mark of the Beast. If carrying your yellow card is not the Mark of the Beast, why should the one of the coronavirus be the Mark of the Beast?”
Busting the Mark of the Beast conspiracy theory, Bishop Agyinasare said the truth is that “the bible tells us that Jesus will appear in the sky and those who are dead in Christ shall arise first and those who are not dead, will be transformed and will be caught up with him and we will go – it’s known as the Rapture”.
“When the Church is raptured, those that are left on earth here, there will be a seven-year period called the Tribulation. There’s the early part of the Tribulation, which is the first three-and-a-half years. And then by the second three-and-a-half years, they will be given the Mark of the Beast. The Church has not been raptured yet. There has never been an occasion where Christians were in church and some disappeared or people were in a car; some disappeared or they were in a plane and some disappeared; so, the Rapture has not happened yet. If the Rapture has not happened, then the Mark of the Beast is not coming. So, the vaccination is not the Mark of the Beast”, he asserted.
“Some are saying: Well, they are going to kill all of us’. Now, if everybody is going to die, are you the only one who wants to remain here? Then let’s all go? Because you even have hope that should you go today, you’ll be with the Lord. So, it’s very important to do this.
“Now, if we prayed and different companies are coming up with it [vaccines] now if vaccines are being created; if we prayed and in a short time it has happened if there are any side effects – in Exodus 23: 25, the bible says: ‘If you shall serve the Lord, He will bless your bread and your water and He will take sickness from the midst of you’ – what you and I are going to pray is that our God who is able to use all things to work together for our good, He should use this vaccine for our good.
“Whatever plan the devil has, may his plan be disappointed because God will turn it for our good. And, so, what I am saying is: when my turn comes to take the vaccine, I’m taking it. As your pastor and your bishop, when my turn comes for taking the vaccine, I’ll take it”, he said.