Stick to the legal argument, questioning the science behind the vaccines is dangerous – Awandare

Director of the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, Professor Gordon Akanzuwine Awandare has asked persons questioning the science behind the covid-19 vaccines to desist from their action.

He believes that this action is deteriorating the vaccine hesitancy situation in the country hence, must stop.

Prof Awandare said on the Key Points on TV3/3FM Saturday December 18 with host Dzifa Bampoh that credible data across the world show that the vaccines save lives, reduce disease severity, reduces hospitalization and also reduce even the percentage of the symptomatic infections and in some cases also reduce deaths.

“Let us make the legal case. But to then move ahead and start to question the science around the vaccines and ask questions about whether the vaccines actually works and whether it is even necessary , I think that is very dageroues because . I though we hade moved passed this.

“All the credible data across the world show that the vaccine saves lives, reduces the disease severity , it reduces hospitalization ,it reduces even the percentage of the symptomatic infections and in some cases some of the vaccines actually reduce deaths.

“So there is clearly a positive impact from these vaccines. If you are going to make an argument about the legalities of it lets keep it but lest not try to worsen our already bad vaccine hesitancy by raising questions a out the vaccines,”

Following the mandatory vaccination in Ghana, some persons have questioned the government’s decision to force people to accept the vaccine especially when they believe that there was no law backing the government’s directive.

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For instance, a private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, asked the government to get an Executive Instrument (E.I) to back the decision.

Mr Kpebu expressed shock that the government commenced enforcement of the mandatory vaccination when there was no E.I to support the directive.

“I am surprised that government is not putting in place the EI. It doesn’t take much to put out such an EI,” he said on the Key Points on TV3/3FM Saturday December 18.

As part of measures to control the spread of the coronavirus in the country, the government through the Ghana Health Service (GHS) introduced a number of measures at the Kotoka International Airport.

Among the measures, “Airlines who board passengers without proof of payment for the COVID -19 test and would/ could not pay for the test in Ghana will be fined US$3500 per passenger.”

Also, “non-Ghanaian passengers may be refused entry and be returned to the point of embarkation at cost to the Airline.”Revision-8-KIA-Covid-Guidelines-Dec11-2021Download

The month of December has been declared by the GHS had as the vaccination month.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye said vaccination was the surest way to deal with the virus.

He further assured that the authorities are going to scale up surveillance measures at the Kotoka International Airport during the Christmas season to ensure that Covid infections do not increase.

He further said that the mistakes that were made in December last year which occasioned the escalation of infections in January this year, will not be repeated.

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There is going to be a “strict enforcement of the protocols at the KIA. We are going to increase surveillance. We are expecting increased number of people to arrive in the country.

“we are going to ensure that our logistics are prepared, we will continue our surveillance to be able to look at that, we are going to look at isolation centres,” he said.

He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.

“We are going to engage with religious organizations to ensure that activities in done in Christmas are in accordance with Covid protocols.”

Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, allayed fears of persons who are worried about the potential reaction from taking the covid vaccine.

He stated that it is normal to experience headache, body pains and other reactions. These are indications that the vaccine is functioning properly in the body, he said.

“If you are vaccinated and you feel slight headache it means the vaccine is working very well,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday December 4 with Dzifa Bampoh.

Dr Nsia Asare further urged all persons who are yet to receive their vaccines to do so in order to save their lives and the lives of others.

In his view, Ghana cannot afford to go through fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic hence the government, through the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has taken the vaccination exercise a step higher in order to get as many as possible inoculated.

Vaccination centres, he stated, are being created closed to the people in the communities including market areas to make it easier for them to go through the exercise.

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“We cannot afford a fourth wave,” he said, adding that “we can all do this together if you are vaccinated,” he said.

The GHS) this week issued new guidelines to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana ahead of the Christmas season.

The guidelines include measures to vaccinate as many as possible before the Christmas on December 25.

In a press releases issued on Thursday December 9, the GHS said “All persons, 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for Covid-19 vaccines.

“All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12 December 2021 are exempted. However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.”

It added “all Ghanaians traveling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effectively 12th midnight 2021.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana