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COVID-19: Vaccines are safe but more education is needed – GMA

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has allayed fears of Ghanaians over the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

President Akufo-Addo in his 20th address to the nation on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic said Ghana won’t be left out in accessing approved vaccines.

Despite the good news, some Ghanaians are worried about the safety and efficacy of the newly-developed vaccines largely due to some conspiracy theories.

Public education needed

In an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Frank Ankobea called for public education on the need to be vaccinated against the disease.

“As a country, we tend to wait for things to get out of hand before we take responsibility. The vaccine education must start now. I know people are skeptical but we the scientists know that the vaccines are safe and that is probably what will help us in the long term.  We need to start vaccine education right away. Some of us will be ready to take the vaccines to set the pace.”

“We should not wait for the vaccines to come in before we start the education. We must begin now, otherwise, we will receive the vaccines alright, but people will not go in for them. We will only achieve head immunity when we vaccinate at least 70% of our adult population. We are not going to get the vaccines as quickly as is projected. They are expensive. But for now, we need to channel our energies to renewing the minds of the masses,” Dr. Ankobea noted.

The country’s active case counts as of Monday, January 11, 2021, was 1,261.

The death toll also rose to 338.

The Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Eastern, and Central Regions continue to lead with high infection rates.

Although the coronavirus cases went down below 1,000 active cases in the last quarter of 2020 in Ghana, the figure keeps increasing by the day.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has revealed that the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) is partnering with the Sub-regional Head of State to develop vaccines for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

This follows the assurance by President Akufo-Addo that Ghana will join other countries to procure COVID-19 vaccines for its citizens.

Currently, countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom have begun trials of the use of COVID-19 vaccines to curb the spread of the virus.

The Health Directorate believes it has become prudent to develop its own vaccines amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

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