Presidential Advisor on health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare has indicated that government will continue with the mandatory vaccination of citizens as part of measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter issued to the ‘Concerned Ghanaian Doctors’, he stated that the decision by government to embark on a mandatory vaccination of citizens, is based on scientific evidence gleaned from local and international findings, and thus, it is necessary for government to continue on that path.
“The recent increases in deployment of vaccines, especially in the last two months, shows clearly the benefist of vaccination regarding the number of positive cases relative to severe and critical cases that need hospitalisation and number of deaths. There is clear evidence of the public health impact of vaccination in terms of infections, hospitalisations, deaths prevented and improved health outcomes which cannot be simply brushed aside.
It is important, as a country, to take advantage of vaccination to reduce transmission, severe/critical ilnesses, hospitalisations, deaths, the strain on our healthcare systems, adverse effects on individuals and families, and the society in general.
In light of this, H.E. the President is committed to continue to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Ghanaians and encourage all Ghanaians to vaccinate and observe al COVID-19 protocols”, the letter stated.
On January 10, a group of Ghanaian doctors, calling themselves ‘Concerned Ghanaian Doctors’ petitioned President Akufo-Addo against government’s decision to embark on a mandatory decision of all citizens. According to the group, there are a number of unanswered questions surrounding the efficacy of the vaccines and its safety for the populace.
The eleven doctors also intimated that, some developed countries are struggling to contain the pandemic, despite their robust vaccination regimes. The doctors said such countries have now been compelled to resort to vaccine boosters, due to the complex nature of the evolving COVID-19 variants.
“Many studies show outbreaks within fully vaccinated populations. Other studies show vaccinated populations as sources for outbreaks. Over the last few months of 2021, the assertion that these COVID vaccines reduce the risk of hospitalization and death has been shown to be inaccurate as well”, portions of their petition read.
They therefore urged government to discontinue with its policy of compulsory mass vaccination.
But in a response to the concerns of the doctors, Dr. Nsiah-Asare stated that “I have been directed by H.E the President to reply on his behalf, to your petition. The priority of the President in the fight against COVID-19 has been a collaborative endeavour. He remains open to listening and engaging various stakeholders in the efforts to combat the pandemic”.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare said so far, the use of vaccines remain the most effective means of combating the virus, thus government is committed to same. He concluded that contrary to speculations, the vaccines have no harmful effects, thus they remain the most reliable resort in mitigating the impact of the virus.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has dissociated itself from the petition of the Concerned Ghanaian Doctors to government. The Association said doctors must be guided by the available medical evidence in their public discourse and channel all grievances through the appropriate avenues for redress.
They also urged “all persons in Ghana to avail themselves for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme and continue to adhere to all the preventive protocols”.