President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has dispelled rumours suggesting COVID-19 vaccines have the potential of rendering recipients infertile and altering their DNA.
The president gave the assurance in his 24th update on measures against the spread of coronavirus on Sunday 28 February.
“Our domestic regulatory agency, FDA, one of the most reputable in Africa and in the world, has certified the safe use of the vaccine. It will not do so if it had any reservations about the safety of the vaccine, and I have gone on record as saying that no vaccine will be deployed in the country for use without the express certification of the FDA,” he said.
He added: “Taking the vaccine will not alter your DNA, it will not embed a tracking device in your body, neither will it cause infertility in women or in men.”
President Akufo-Addo said he will together with vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia as well as the first and second lady receive their shots on Monday ahead of the vaccination exercise.
“As your President, I want to assure you that the vaccine is safe. That is why tomorrow, on Monday, 1st March, ahead of the commencement of the vaccination programme on Tuesday, 2nd March, my wife the First Lady, the Vice President, his wife the Second Lady, and I will take the vaccine publicly at two (2) health facilities in Accra.”
Arrival of vaccines
Ghana on Wednesday took delivery of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).
This is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto.
A statement issued by the information ministry said the COVID-19 vaccination will be conducted in phases among segmented populations.
“The first segment of the population that will receive from the 600,000 doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region. A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered,” the statement signed by Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information minister-designate said.
The vaccines will be deployed in health facilities and designated centres in these geographical regions from 2 March.
The statement said Ghana “remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians and is making frantic efforts to acquire adequate vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multilateral agencies.”
It added: “We urge you to do your part by ensuring that you get vaccinated when the vaccine gets to you. We acknowledge the hard work of the technical teams from the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Information, the COVID-19 Task Force and all those who have assisted in getting us this far.”
The government expressed gratitude to its development partners for their tremendous financial and technical support.
“It is our hope that they will continue to support us in our sustained efforts in combating this virus and putting COVID-19 behind us”.