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Don’t exclude Ghanaians with underlying medical conditions, aged from COVID-19 protection – Omane Boama to Gov’t

A former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, has kicked against a decision by the Akufo-Addo government to exclude persons with underlying health conditions and the aged for the vaccination against Coronavirus when the country takes delivery of the first batch of vaccines.

“Why must mother Ghana deprive people with underlying medical conditions and the aged protection if there are no contraindications (i.e., medical reasons not to give the vaccine)? Respectfully, have we not heard time and again from you and other government officials that comorbidities contribute to COVID induced deaths? More questions than answers,” Dr Omane Boamah said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

His post was a response to the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Dr. Alex Dodoo, who was reported by Joy News to have said children, pregnant women, people with allergies and underlying health conditions, and the aged will not be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus when government begins a vaccination exercise soon.

Ghana is expected to receive some 19.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of June to help reduce the infection rate of the deadly virus.

Dr. Dodoo said these vaccines will be given to people with strong immunity in order to reduce the spread of the virus in the country.

But Dr Omane Boamah said he was “shocked to the marrow” when he read Ghanaians with underlying health conditions and the aged will not be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19).

“It is worrying because citizens who qualify to have the vaccine may be selected against. It is also worrying because it deprives interested parties (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, public health and policy experts, journalists and Civil Society Organisations) the opportunity to make inputs, ask vital questions and institute monitoring and evaluation systems to guide the process if they wish to do so.

“Mr. President, are they not within the domain of prioritized people in the United States of America,” he lamented.

Below is Dr omane Boamah’s full post below;

Good morning Mr. President,
GHANA, LET US AVOID ANY FURTHER ERRORS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19.
Trust you are all doing very well. Over the past two weeks, I have been requesting Government to publish the Vaccine Plan without joy. Mr. President, this is a worrying sign.
It is worrying because citizens who qualify to have the vaccine may be selected against. It is also worrying because it deprives interested parties (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, public health and policy experts, journalists and Civil Society Organisations) the opportunity to make inputs, ask vital questions and institute monitoring and evaluation systems to guide the process if they wish to do so.
For example, I was shocked to the marrow when I read Ghanaians with “underlying health conditions and the aged” will not be vaccinated against the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV2.
Mr. President, are they not within the domain of prioritised people in the United States of America?
Why must mother Ghana deprive people with underlying medical conditions and the aged protection if there are no contraindications (i.e. medical reasons not to give the vaccine)?
Respectfully, have we not heard time and again from you and other government officials that comorbidities contribute to COVID induced deaths? More questions than answers.
I have respect for the knowledge of Dr. Doodoo who is said to have made this shocking statement. I hope he has been misrepresented. I hope this is not Government policy.
Already too many mistakes have been made in the collective fight against COVID-19. GHANA, LET US AVOID ANY FURTHER ERRORS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19.
Mr. President, these are the reasons we need to have the Vaccine Plan published in the interest of transparency and equity as we prepare to vaccinate Ghanaians against COVID-19.
Thank you.
Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah
Medical Doctor & Health Policy Planning and Financing Analyst
February 7, 2021

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