On 24th February 2021, Ghana received the AstraZeneca Vaccine against the novel coronavirus. About 600,000 doses for a target population of 20 million.
Many have questioned the efficacy, and the potency of this primary health care interventional policy, cost effective that has spared the global population of about 2-3 million annual deaths, according to the WHO.
Vaccines prevent about 20 different types of deleterious diseases.
Immunisation (vaccination) started in 1974 by the WHO and adopted by Ghana in 1978 with an initial former *_Six Childhood Killer Diseases_* (Vaccine Preventable). She now has about 13 Vaccine Preventable Diseases. There emerged the conspiracy theories at the introduction of each of these successive vaccines.
Vaccines boost the immune system and make it firm, strong to withstand and fight a disease or infection. The immune system or the _*army*_ of the body operates in two set ups. It is either natural where it is present at birth, or acquired where it is given synthetically after birth (vaccination) for the same purpose. Still, acquired immunity can be got during life events such as an infection (chicken pox)⸻ the reason why you don’t get chicken pox after a previous infection. This is naturally acquired immunity.
Vaccines provide active immunity. The body participates in establishing the security setup (antibodies) as a form of sensitisation training for *_war_* . The army will not shoot and kill its own, but foreign bodies.
The conspiracy theorists opine that the AstraZeneca will cause infertility problems among men and women. Others believe it is genocidal for Africans. All these are not new with the advent of every vaccine.
On 01/03/21, the President and the Vice, with their spouses premiered the vaccination exercise in line with a clarion call from sections of the public to boost confidence and encourage a wider coverage and acceptance level.
But this was barraged with backlashes of tsunamic proportions with some reiterating their aged-old ideology that the duo would inject something different from what the rest of the population would get.
The procedure and techniques by the health professional in injecting the vaccine was also questioned. She was not simply wearing hand gloves!
In preparing and giving an intramuscular injection, hand gloves are not required. It must also be pointed out that the practice of pulling back the plunger of the syringe to confirm the needle is in the muscle tissue is demoded. Hand washing or alcohol rub after each successive injection is employed.
The Covid-19 vaccine is not to kill and won’t kill Africans. According to WHO, COVAX the vaccine delivery agent, envisages to give out 2 billion doses of AstraZeneca before the end of 2021. This will initially cover all the vulnerable groups and frontline health personnel. It would be given free to low and middle-income countries who, otherwise couldn’t have afforded, much the same way these countries are forgiven of their unsustainable international debt from the IMF and World Bank.
The vaccine is not a biological weapon prepared in the laboratory to cause long term side effects or death. Africans, serving at various capacities at the WHO and the scientific world wouldn’t allow that. _*“If the rich countries manufacture something to kill Africans, who will they sell their goods to”?*_ Director General, Ghana Health Service.
According to WHO, the effectivity rate of the Covid-19 vaccine is 92%.
There are five stages of clinical trials that a vaccine or drug must go through to ensure its safety and effectivity before use or marketing.
The local regulatory body, the Food and Drug Authority also plays same essential role prior to its use in the country. It would be impossible for the Covid vaccine to evade all these predefined protocols and enter the country.
On Tuesday 02/03/21 the first phase of mass vaccination in some selected regions and districts that are the epicentres of the disease begins. It is for all people aged 18years and above.
Testing to know your status before taking the vaccine is not required. Go and get vaccinated.
This is our health. And politicising it will be disastrous. We should rather be much grateful to the scientific community that worked so tirelessly since the outbreak of the disease in December 2019 to find a vaccine for the world’s devastating disease.
Take the vaccine to safe yourself and others. It is not just about you but a population.
A safety population is a wealthy population. Above all, still maintain and observe the safety protocols of hand washing, masking and physical distancing even after taking the vaccine.