COVID-19: An elderly who has just come out of chemotherapy can't be given vaccine – Prof Dodoo

Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) Professor Alex Dodoo, has emphasized that those who are most in need of protection will get the vaccines first when they arrive in the country to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said this in an interview with Berla Mundi on the New Day show on TV3, Monday February 8.

Prof. Dodoo, who is also the director of the Center for Tropical Pharmacology (CTP) said “data and science will drive our decision making and I want to assure all Ghanaians that those who are most in need of protection will get it (vaccines), we are looking at health workers, we are looking at people with diabetes, we are looking at people with high blood pressure and other underlying conditions.

“But among every segment, if someone, for instance a pregnant woman, even though AstraZeneca says we shouldn’t give it to the one, if the one needs it then you have to prioritize the life of the one over that of the unborn baby, then you have to take a professional decision.

“The elderly are getting it but if you have an elderly who have just come out of chemotherapy you cannot give it. So in fact, the point should be made clearly that, like all medical interventions, there’s nothing like one-size-fit-all” he pointed out.

He also stated that the president, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health (MoH) will set a policy for health workers to treat every single recipient of the vaccine as an individual case in order to understand everything around them because you want to be sure of benefits and that any side effects will be curtailed.

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“Because you want to be sure that they get benefits and that any side effects if any will be extremely low, because all products will come with some amount of side effects”.

Prof. Dodoo further expressed his confidence in the technical experts in the country to ensure that best vaccines gets approval into our country and that he wouldn’t hesitate to take a jab of the vaccine and also recommend same for his family.

“This is why we have technical agencies, they will take the decision, fortunately I’m happy to say, we have independent technical experts who will not bow to anyone, they will speak the truth. That is why I can boldly say on TV that if there is a product available today and approved by our authorities I will take it, I will not flinch from it, I will take it on air and I will give it to my family.

“So Ghanaians should have that confidence, that we believe that we have a system which is robust and mature enough. Yes occasionally we have our rumours and conspiracy theories going around but collectively we believe in the systems we have created” he emphasized.

He also commended the general management of COVID-19 in terms of communication in the media and thus admonished that we shouldn’t rest until we get to the top of eradicating the deadly pandemic from the country.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana