President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians of the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine set to be deployed in the country this week.
“I know there are still some who continue to express doubts about the vaccine, others have expressed reservations about its efficacy, with some taking sides with conspiracy theorists who believe the vaccine has been created to wipe out the African race.
“This is far from the truth. As your President, I want to assure you that the vaccine is safe,” he said in his 24th address to the nation on measures being taken to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country.
Ghana took delivery of some 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines last week as part of the COVAX initiative to begin Covid-19 vaccination this week.
As the vaccination is about to start, some Ghanaians continue to express fear about the content of the vaccines and alleged adverse impact it will have on the health of citizens.
The conspiracy theories around the vaccine include claims that the they will alter people’s DNA, they will make people infertile as part of a grand agenda to control population growth in Africa. Some even claim the vaccines contain microchips that will be used to track people and control them.
However, the President allayed those fears, stating categorically that “taking the vaccine will not alter your DNA. It will not embed a tracking device in your body, neither will it cause infertility in women or in men.”
“Our domestic regulatory agency, FDA, one of the most reputable in Africa and in the world, has certified the safe use of the vaccine.
“It will not do so if it had any reservations about the safety of the vaccine, and I have gone on record as saying that no vaccine will be deployed in the country for use without the express certification of the FDA,” he added.
To further boost public confidence in the safety of the vaccines, the president announced that himself, the Vice President and their wives as well as key public officials and media personalities are expected to take the first dose of the vaccines in public at various health centers between today and tomorrow.
He further encouraged faith-based groups, civil society and the media to support the public education campaign associated with the exercise.
“We need all hands-on deck to make this a success,” he said.
Meanwhile, the president listed the various categories of persons to be vaccinated in order of preference.
Below is the list of priority persons
- Persons most at risk and frontline state officials
- Healthcare workers
- Frontline security personnel
- Persons with underlying medical conditions
- Persons 60 years and above
- Frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary
- Other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies
- Water and electricity supply services
- Teachers and students
- Supply and distribution of fuels
- Farmers and food value chain
- Telecommunications services
- Air traffic and civil aviation control services
- Meteorological services
- Air transport services
- Waste management services
- Public and private commercial transport services
- Police Service
- Armed Forces
- Prisons Service
- Immigration Service
- National Fire Service
- CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority
- Other members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature
Consists of the rest of the public, that is all persons over 18 years, except for pregnant women.
This final group will include pregnant mothers and persons under the age of 18, and they will be vaccinated when an appropriate vaccine, hopefully, is found, or when enough safety data on the present vaccines are available according to the President.