COVID-19: The vaccines are effective – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said a claim that the two main vaccines adopted to fight the coronavirus pandemic are infective against a deadly new strain is false.

That claim was made on Monday, June 21, 2021, by the Head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) of the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awendare.

According to Prof Awendare, the deadly Delta strain, one of the 45 variants which are currently in Ghana, is not easily defeated by the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines, two main vaccines Ghana has adopted in the fight pandemic in the country.

However, rebutting the claim in a statement, the GHS said that assertion by Prof Awendare is not backed by data.

Director-General of the GHS, Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who signed the statement, said available data shows two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are highly effective against hospitalisation due to the Delta variant and showed no deaths among those vaccinated, citing the Public Health England (PHE) to back this claim.

“A study conducted by Gamaleya Center suggests that Sputnik-V is more efficient against the Delta variant of coronavirus, first detected in India, compared to other COVID-19 vaccines,” the cited another source to prove the efficacy of Sputnik V in fighting the deadly variant.

The GHS said in the midst of global supply shortages, it is in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to ensure that adequate vaccines are procured to protect the population.

“The MOH, GHS and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) are working collaboratively to ensure that vaccines that come into the country are safe and effective. The Service would like to urge Ghanaians to take advantage of vaccination when their turn is due while entreating the general public to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention protocols i.e., wearing of face masks, practicing of hand hygiene and physical distancing as part of the strategies,” the statement concluded.

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