The Director of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana, Prof. Gordon Akanzuwine Awandare, has urged Ghanaians to avail themselves to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The parasitologist said the vaccines that will be administered across the country went through ” a very rigorous test” by agencies including the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) before they were approved.
“They [the vaccines] have shown the ability to protect people from getting sick when they are exposed to the virus,” Prof. Awandare told Morning Update host Eric Ahianyo on TV XYZ.
Ghana Thursday morning took delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) made by the Serum Institute of India.
The 600,000 doses is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto.
There have been conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine but Prof Awandare believes although some persons who will take the jab might react differently, it is associated with every vaccine and for tha matter citizens should do well to be part of the vaccination programme.
“We need to embrace this intervention and everybody should take the vaccine when they get the opportunity so that we can begin to slow down the transmission of the virus as soon as possible,” he admonished.
To be able to clear all misconceptions among the populace, Prof. Awandare urged the government to roll out an “aggressive” campaign to educate the citizens about the vaccine and its positive effects on the country.
Although the government has started holding media briefings and stakeholder engagements, he said “I think that we have to have a very intensive infromation dissemination campaign” in the various communities across the country to help clear all doubts.
“These ideas have to be translated to different languages and broken down into simple languages for everybody to understand,” he added.
Prof Awandare mentioned the Information Ministry, NCCE and the Ghana Health Service as agencies who must be resourced to take over the campaign to get Ghanaians “to understand that the vaccines are very safe.”
The people that will benefit from the vaccine plan in the interim are health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff.
The others are frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya West and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.
According to a Graphic report, a similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality in the Ashanti Region will also be covered.
By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com