The Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Prof. Alexander Dodoo, has revealed that children, pregnant women, people with allergies and underlying health conditions, and the aged will not be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Ghana is expected to receive 19.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of June and according to Prof. Dodoo these vaccines will be given to people with strong immunity in order to reduce the spread of the virus in the country.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, the Ghana Standards Authority boss said: “Normally for starters, children will not be included, they’re more protected and they’re not passing on the virus. Those with allergies, those with underlying health conditions, those whose immune system appears compromised will not be vaccinated.”
He explained that pregnant women will not be vaccinated because there is no scientific data to prove that the virus will be safe for them and their unborn babies when administered to them.
He, however, stated that a doctor could recommend for a pregnant woman to be vaccinated after measuring the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine.
“You have to look at her as an individual and judge from the potential benefits and the harm that you know can also happen and make a call,” he explained.
He further added that people with HIV/AIDS, those on Cancer treatment and the aged will also not be vaccinated.
He also told Ghanaians to expect side effects after taking the vaccine.
According to him, though the vaccine is safe, there will be some tolerable risks related to being vaccinated which the population should be ready for.
He advised health practitioners to educate the general public on the need for the vaccine and its accompanying side effects in order to allay fears.
“We need to get the public ready not just for the vaccine but to also expect that the protection offered by the vaccine goes with some amount of risk. There will be side effects. And it’s not going to be 100% safe. It never happens. So we need to communicate that there will be a lot of benefits, but there will be an accompanying measurable amount of tolerable risk which the population should be ready for,” he said.
He told host, Samson Lardy Anyenini that, the deployment of the vaccines will be done using the government’s Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) to reach all 238 districts of Ghana.
He, however, stated that churches and mosques may also be used as vaccination centres should there be a need to do so.
“Deploying vaccines may sound like a small issue, but just imagine about 238 districts in Ghana and having to ensure that every vaccine is kept at the temperature it should be kept.
“Also it must be given to people who are stated and then we follow up to ensure that they’re not damaged because, at the end of the day, safety becomes key.
“In the US they’re using FedEx to move vaccines around, they’re using pharmacies to deploy vaccines. In Ghana, it will be the usual system we have been using for EPI, the Expanded Programme for Immunisation but we cannot rule out the possibility that churches and mosques will be used as vaccination centres.”