Dr Bernard Okoe Boye: Waiting for some time before taking the vaccine- Smart or suicidal move?; Today, the 9th of March,2021, is exactly one week since the Ghana government started vaccinating its citizens against the Covid-19 disease.
As a physician that consults at the Lekma Hospital, I joined the queue on the first day of the national exercise of deploying the Vaccines.
I belong to the first group of citizens eligible to take the vaccine due to my health worker status. Other genres of citizens like the elderly (60+ years) and those with underlying conditions joined the queue on the first day.
After a week of vaccination, about 210,000 Ghanaians have embraced the opportunity to get vaccinated.
Unfortunately, there are still those who keep asking the question- should I wait for some time to see what happens to those going for the Vaccines or just go for the vaccine now?
The AstraZeneca vaccine has gone through all the three necessary clinical trials that must be conducted before giving it to people in any country.
Tens of thousands of participants took part in the phase three trials which were carried out to find out how effective the vaccines are in protecting the population against Covid-19 infection as well as Covid-19 related severe illness and death.
AstraZeneca has an efficacy of about 70%. This efficacy only speaks to the protection the vaccine gives from contracting Covid-19.
That is to say, if 100 people get vaccinated, 70 of them will not get Covid-19 at all. The rest of the 30 can get Covid-19.
Just ending here on the efficacy information leaves out two critical benefits that the vaccine provides; two benefits that have been established in clinical trials across different countries and have actually been confirmed in countries like the UK where more than 21 million have been vaccinated.
Taking the vaccine protects you from severe and critical disease should you find yourself in the minority who can get Covid-19 despite vaccination.
What it means is that you are saved from hospitalization and more importantly Covid-19 related death with the vaccine. AstraZeneca vaccines might have an average of 70% efficacy against Covid-19 but its protection against severe illness from Covid-19 is over 85%, with protection from death nearing 99%.
The Pfizer vaccine produced in the US may have an efficacy of 94% similar to the Moderna vaccine but the good news is that both of them give you virtually the same result from AstraZeneca when it comes to preventing severe illness and death.
The Johnson and Johnson Johnson vaccine that recently got Emergency Use Authorization has an average efficacy of 70% like the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The phase three clinical trials done in South Africa with this Johnson and Johnson vaccine showed that the rate of hospitalization fell drastically in those who got the vaccine compared to those who didn’t receive the vaccine.
No deaths were recorded in those who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. This information from the studies on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine validates one truth – which is – it is smarter to get the vaccine, irrespective of which brand, when available than to wait.
I am vaccinated now so should I come across a Covid-19 positive person who brings the virus in contact with me, two things can happen; either my vaccine acquired immunity stops the virus from infecting me or gets into my system but is unable to overwhelm me and land me at the hospital.
Since over 70 out of 100 who get the vaccine are protected from COVID infection, those people serve as barriers that break the transmission chain. When a virus gets to them, it ends there and doesn’t get passed on to the next.
So vaccination achieves a reduction in the transmission rates, infection rates, hospitalization rates, mortality rates and eventually will bring the pandemic to a stop.
The deployment of VACCINES signals the beginning of the end of the Pandemic. What will make this end-stage shorter and less fatal is continued adherence to the mask-wearing and handwashing protocols since these protocols serve as an extranet catching the few viral strains that escape the wall of protection provided by the vaccines?
It is the objective of Ghana’s government to complete this end stage of the pandemic by December 2021. Hopefully, by this time, over 20 million Ghanaians will have been vaccinated and the transmission rate for Covid-19 will have near zero.
I know that in Ghana 85 out of hundred people who get Covid-19 will have only mild to moderate disease and these statistics has undoubtedly emboldened some people to say “let me just wait and watch”, with the thinking that should they even get the virus, they will be part of the 85% who do not experience severe disease.
A relative of mine got Covid-19 and experienced a severe illness that could have killed him. He got it from a family member who only experienced mild symptoms when she had it.
The lesson is that should you avoid the vaccine with the thinking that you will be ok even in case of an infection, you can serve as a carrier who passes on the virus to other friends and family who might get severely ill and die. So getting vaccinated doesn’t only protect you, it protects those you relate to by breaking the transmission chain.
As of 5th March 2021, people had died from Covid-19 related deaths. I know the rollout of the vaccine will save us many more deaths in this end-stage but if we want to experience very low mortality or better still avoid any deaths at all, the mask-wearing protocols must be adhered to so that this last episode of the pandemic is made short and less deadly.
It does not take AstraZeneca or Pfizer or Moderna in particular to achieve a COVID pandemic-free world. Any of the approved vaccines will protect you from the Pandemic, keep you away from the ICU, save you from death, and significantly slow down infection rates till elimination of the disease is achieved nationally.
I predict that this pandemic will end with this calendar year, 2021. This prediction can only be true if you take the vaccine and wear the mask.
Let’s help to make the prediction true because we can’t afford to have our cinemas closed and our hospitality sector on its knees in 2022. We can’t afford to hug our loved ones in 2022.
I guess the answer to waiting for some time or not before getting the vaccine is obvious now. Not a smart move to wait, it can turn out to be suicidal.
The writer, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye was a former Deputy Health Minister
Scientists and Health officials all over the world are trying to solve a mystery: why people who recovered from coronavirus have retested positive.
In countries like China, where some coronavirus patients tested positive after seeming to recover, experts have been left thinking.
This has raised the question: can you get reinfected with coronavirus?
It is not clear how many of the people who have recovered have been tested again.
But patients retesting positive is still a concern around the world….
Over 1,000 reports on adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana received – GHS
Ghana Health Service GHS has received over 1000 reports on adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana so far
Adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines: Extended Programme on Immunisation (EPI) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it has received about 1,000 reports of adverse effects from persons vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine.
These are people vaccinated within 12 days of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achino, the Programme Manager of the EPI, told the Ghana News Agency that the reactions and complaints received by his outfit and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) were fever, sweating, headache, weakness, chills, and body aches, which were all expected.
The Programme Manager said the reports were not different from reactions and adverse reports from other countries and what was stated by the manufacturer in the vaccine package information.
Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said the complaints were received mainly through the complaints call the number provided on the vaccination card, the Med App, and a complaints link provided by the FDA.
He said data showed that as of 1900 hours on Sunday, March 14, nearly 404,000 persons had taken their first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine from the 43 districts earmarked for the first phase.
Those vaccinated include front-line health workers, adults aged 60 years and above, and people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, and cancer.
The others are frontline security personnel, frontline government officials, the media, and all frontline workers in the formal sector.
A total of 20 million Ghanaians are expected to be vaccinated against the virus, Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said, adding that females formed about 62 percent of the number vaccinated so far.
He said about 58,000 persons with underlying health conditions, 91,000 adults aged 60 years and above, about 68,000 health workers, 23,000 frontline security personnel, and more than 48,000 essential service providers had received their first jabs.
Similarly, more than 12,000 members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature, and 60,000 teachers aged 60 and above, more than 3,000 media persons, and 72,000 ordinary persons had been vaccinated.
Dr. Amponsah-Achiano encouraged the public to keep adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols by wearing a nose mask, observing social distancing, washing hands with soap under running water, or sanitize hands frequently.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It has an incubation period of four to six days and fatal, especially for those with a weakened immune system, the elderly, and the very young.
It could also result in pneumonia and bronchitis.
AUDIO:”There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hosi
“There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hos
“There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hosi; The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Senyo Hosi has told Ghanaians not to expect anything free in this country.
He has also accused politicians of lying and taking from Ghanaians.
According to him, the leaders of the country should not often tell the people of Ghana electricity prices have been subsidized, when in reality they haven’t.
“And then we just come here and start taxing petrol for sanitation. It’s the easiest thing you do.
“If you have problems with the power crisis, be honest with the people. Let the people know that you are not paying the right price for electricity.
His comments come after the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on PM: Express Monday indicated that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“When we say free electricity it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity I won’t charge for it,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said.
But speaking on JoyNews’ Super Morning Show Tuesday, Mr. Hosi urged politicians to be transparent and brutally honest with Ghanaians regarding what it terms as being free.
“Don’t come and tell people that I’ve reduced electricity prices when you know you haven’t. There’s nothing free in this country. The politicians lie.
“They can’t give you a thing. They can only take from you. They can’t give you a thing. So be honest with the people. Stop telling them you’re giving them free stuff. How can I give you free with my right hand and collect two times or three times that much with my left hand? It is dishonest.”
Adding that, if the government incurred a shortfall of $1 billion in the electricity sector in 2020, why hasn’t the price of electricity is priced correctly?
“And then if you want to have a subsidy, go straight and let the public know that we are subsidizing electricity by so much.”
Moreover, the Finance and Economic policy analyst noted that the lack of servant leadership and misplaced priorities in our politicians is what is having an adverse effect on the economy.
“We’re sitting here. We’re not thinking of ways how to actually boost electricity demand. We’re thinking of how to buy V8. That is the conversation that you have.
“Do we look like people who really have a problem? If you’re in a country that is as broke as Ghana looks like today if you see me driving the car that I’m driving, shouldn’t. When I don’t have money, I don’t move that car,” he said.
Mr. Hosi urged the government not to burden Ghanaians with all these taxes it has come up with.
Meanwhile, in the 2021 budget statement, the new taxes and levies which have been introduced include; the financial sector clean-up levy, sanitation and pollution levy, Covid-19 health levy, and the energy sector recovery levy (Delta Fund).
Ghanaians to pay 1% tax for Covid-19 reliefs enjoyed in order to fill economic gap – Oppong Nkrumah
Ghanaians to pay 1% tax for Covid-19 reliefs enjoyed in order to fill economic gap – Oppong Nkrumah
Ghanaians to pay 1% tax for Covid-19 reliefs enjoyed in order to fill economic gap ; Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has indicated that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
President Akufo-Addo in April 2020, announced a free utility package for the vulnerable in the country to lessen the virus’s negative impact following a lockdown in Accra and Kumasi.
Again, Akufo-Addo in his 21st address to the nation said, “With the continuing difficulties occasioned by the pandemic, I want to state that government intends to continue to support the most vulnerable in our society.
“Government will, thus, continue to pay the electricity bills for our nation’s one million active lifeline customers for the next three months, i.e. January, February, and March.”
But speaking on PM: Express Monday, Mr. Nkrumah said “It was free to the people of Ghana at the time.”
According to him, the decision last year was because the pandemic was a looming crisis and the government had to improvise for the country’s well-being.
“When we say free electricity it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity I won’t charge for it.”
Speaking to Evans Mensah, Mr. Nkrumah said Ghana has spent about ¢19 billion on Covid-19 related issues and that includes the relief package on the utilities.
“But that 19 billion cedis have to be paid for at some point, the liabilities we have incurred have to be paid for,” he indicated Monday night.
“So I am going back to Ofoasi to explain to my people why we need to ensure that we all pay that 1% extra so that we can continue to provide those services for the people of Ghana to protect lives and livelihoods,” he said.
This, according to him, will help ameliorate the economy and bridge the gap between the country’s income and expenditure.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said the gap has been widened even further by Covid-19 adding that “we are at a point where you have to make a choice.”
He noted that there is a need to, “get our people collectively across the device to understand that at some point, we have to get out of this economic one-step-forward half-a step-back, sometimes one step forward, two steps backward conundrum in which we find ourselves.
“To do that, we cannot consistently borrow our way out of our problems, domestic resource mobilization has to be tweaked and it has to be done in a way that you can raise resources without overburdening the people.”
The Information Minister told JoyNews that “everything we consume in this country is paid for.”
“If not, we will arrive at that graph you showed us earlier where the gap keeps widening.”
According to him, the government’s decision to provide free utilities was a strategic choice made on behalf of Ghanaians.
He cited: “If we are at war and the government has to make a decision that we have to procure ABCDEFG to go war and win that war and does not necessarily task the population for it today and mobilizes for us to achieve it, it is well in order for the government when we have won the war or on a clear path to winning the war.”
He, therefore, observed that failure to introduce some tax components to solve the problem means “we will get to a point where our economy cannot pay for basic service debt, pay wedges and salaries and do things that prior to 2016 we found ourselves doing.”
Meet Kojo Oppong Nkrumah’s Wife Akua Oppong Nkrumah; Kojo who doubles as a minister in charge of information and a member of parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi constituency and his wife have been married for 7 years.
They have two children; Ama and Kwame Oppong Nkrumah.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, 36, is regarded by many as one of the best journalists of his generation.
He is a proud alumnus of Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary and the University of Cape Coast.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah worked for Multimedia Group for ten years, and quickly rose through the ranks to become the host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
In 2014, he quit broadcasting to go into politics. He joined NPP and eventually won the Ofoase Ayirebi seat. He currently doubles as the Minister of Information…..
Things are not as bad as today as they were when NDC was in power – Kofi Bentil
I Will Never Go Hungry Even If Kwaku Oteng Sacks Me From ABN – Captain Smart
Prophet Owusu Bempah scares Mahama with new prophecy
“John Mahama might be behind the ongoing dumsor” -Evangelist Addai
Your Government Is Almost The ‘Worst’ – Lydia Forson to Akufo-Addo
Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip dies at age 99
Earl Simmons a.k.a DMX American rapper dies at 50
BET names Yaw TOG as Amplified International Artist of the month
How to get a quick loan from FIDO in Ghana
Court dismisses Rasta student’s application seeking to force Achimota School to admit him
General News3 years ago
Shop Owners Around Akufo-Addo’s Nima Residence Given One Week To Relocate
Celeb Gossip10 months ago
See this beautiful picture of Bawumia’s son with his mom Samira at Accra Mall
General News3 years ago
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta Buys A Brand New Kantanka Saloon Car
Entertainment1 year ago
Tracy is an opportunist; she dated someone for 5 years and dumped him after meeting Kennedy – Friend of Tracy’s ex-boyfriend
General News1 year ago
VIDEO: Ablakwa, Omane Boamah, Kwakye Ofosu wanted me out of NDC and ECG Board – Wild Allotey Jacobs spits fire
2020 Elections5 months ago
Sammy Gyamfi leads NDC to apologize to journalists over post-election attacks
Entertainment11 months ago
Meet the beautiful daughters of Nana Akufo-Addo
Business1 year ago
How To Top-up Your Ecobank EDC Account Using MTN MoMo