The Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Titus Beyuo, has reiterated that data gathered by health authorities show that the Covid-19 vaccines procured by government are effective and safe for use.
The assurance comes to address concerns raised by a group calling itself Concerned Ghanaian Doctors, which has claimed that the vaccines being used in the country are not safe, and has also petitioned the President to halt the vaccination against Covid-19.
The group in a petition dated Monday January 10, 2022, claimed that there is no need for vaccination against COVID-19 if there is early treatment available, saying countries with very high rates of vaccinated persons like the UK and Israel are still battling the virus.
The doctors questioned the economic ability of the government to keep up with the booster shots being taken by those countries leading the way in the vaccination against COVID-19.
“Assuming as a country we are to vaccinate more than 50 per cent of our population, are we going to continue with perpetual boosters every 3 to 6 months in an attempt to maintain vaccine-induced immunity for this disease?
“Where then is the endpoint when these vaccines do not stop infection or the spread of COVID-19? Is this financially feasible for us as a nation?” If there is safe, effective, affordable, freely available early treatment for Covid-19, vaccines are no longer a priority,” part of the petition read.
The petition further indicated that it does not take a genius to recognise the financial benefit of pharmaceutical companies in demonising potential early, effective treatments.
“If these medications do work, that’s wonderful in the human race’s fight against Covid-19. However, they are practicably placebos if they don’t work. Why the suppression and demonising of these early treatments then, if the concern is health,” it stated.
The group continued: “Considering all these, wouldn’t it be prudent to pause and ask ourselves whether these novel vaccines are necessary in the first place since all the relevant metrics show that Ghana and Africa at large have done better than most of the world with respect to the pandemic even before the advent of these vaccines?’
Reacting to the concerns of the doctors, Dr. Beyuo emphatically maintained that “the data we have in Ghana shows us that these vaccines are safe and efficacious.”
According to him, health officials have made it clear that the vaccine does not prevent an individual from contracting the virus but rather reduces mortality rate and the severity of cases.
“The vaccine has demonstrated clearly that it can prevent death, ICU admission and reduce critical severe injuries. All these data are available. So to cite a few incidences and global data and come to that conclusion is unfortunate,” he said.
He further added: “There is a joint committee that meets every two weeks to review all our vaccination data in Ghana.
“Adverse events following vaccination are being studied closely. If somebody gets an event after vaccination, there are scientific ways to establish the causality to show that the problem actually came from the vaccine or a coincidental event.”
Dr. Beyuo insisted that the concerned doctors had erred by not using the appropriate channels to register their concerns. He noted that if they had done that, they would have been provided with the needed information.
“It is rather unfortunate they are not using the right medium to address the concerns. As a scientific community, there are better ways to address the concerns,” Dr. Beyuo added.