The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who is against the mandatory vaccination exercise has asked what his critics make of the petition filed against the vaccine rollout by some medical doctors.
This comes after he was heavily criticized for his dissenting opinion on the mandatory vaccination exercise being undertaken by the Government of Ghana.
Some 11 doctors have written to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to issue a directive for the nationwide vaccine rollout in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to be paused.
The doctors say the risks associated with these vaccines, per the data studied so far, outweigh the potential benefits, if any.
In their petition dated Monday, January 10, 2022, the doctors, who call themselves as Concerned Ghanaian Doctors, cited how the UK and Israel are still battling with the virus despite a high vaccination rate of their respective populations.
“These countries have very high vaccination rates, currently deploying booster programmes, yet they are struggling to get the virus under control especially with these new variants,” the doctors observed in the jointly-signed petition.
“Assuming as a country we are to vaccinate more than 50% of our population, are we going to continue with perpetual boosters every 3 to 6 months in an attempt to maintain vaccine induced immunity for this disease?
“Where then is the end point when these vaccines do not stop infection or the spread of Covid-19? Is this financially feasible for us as a nation?”
They contended that the case fatality rate is not as high as anticipated especially given the fact that not many citizens are testing.
For them, the vaccines becoming a mandate is only a ploy by some pharmaceutical companies to rake in profits.
“If there is safe, effective, affordable, freely available early treatment for Covid-19, vaccines are no longer a priority.
“It doesn’t take a genius to recognise the financial benefit of pharmaceutical companies in demonising potential early, effective treatments.
“If these medications do work, that’s wonderful in the human race’s fight against Covid-19. However, they are practicably placebos if they don’t work. Why the suppression and demonising of these early treatments then, if the concern is health.
“Considering all these, wouldn’t it be prudent to pause and ask ourselves whether these novel vaccines are necessary in the first place,” they quizzed.
For them, Ghana, and for that matter Africa, must lead the way in the fight against Covid-19.
“All the relevant metrics show that Ghana and Africa at large have done better than most of the world with respect to the pandemic even before the advent of these vaccines.
“It is possible the rest of the world are rather to learn from us.”
The doctors are Dr Timothy Oblijah Armah, Dr Bismark Opoku-Asare, Dr Faisal Adjei, Dr William Ghunney and Dr Bernard Boateng Adjei.
The others are Dr Doreen Oye Agyei, Dr Michael Agyemang-Wiredu, Dr Richard Fayah and Dr Sedem Cyril Klinogoh.
The rest are Dr Phil Dowuona and Dr Emmanuel Awuttey.
Reacting to this news, Sammy Gyamfi said in a tweet on Wednesday January 12 that “I wonder what my critics will say now that Medical Doctors, scientists including infectious disease specialists have come out to confirm my views against compulsory COVID-19 vaccination.”
Sammy Gyamfi had noted that it is only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination.
He said on the Sunrise show on 3FM hosted by Alfred Ocansey on Wednesday January 12 that one can enter the United States and other parts of the world today, without vaccination.
“You can enter USA today without vaccination. It’s only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination,” Sammy Gyamfi who is also a private legal practitioner said.
He further stated that “We have been doing so well without this mandatory vaccination. Look at the countries with the highest vaccination rate, they are still battling with the virus.
“Health advisor says when you’re suffering from complications it means the vaccine is working so some people keep these problems to themselves. If you take the vaccine and something happens to you, you can’t hold anyone responsible.”
He had sued the Attorney General (AG) and the Ghana Heath Service (GHS) over the mandatory vaccination exercise.
He wants “A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents breach or threaten to breach the Applicants’ fundamental human rights as enshrined under Article 21(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents violated Section 2(1) of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (ACT 1012) and Sections 21, 22 and 30 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT 851) and therefore illegal.
“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana on the administration of Emergency Use Authorized medical products and same are unreasonable.
“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the World Health Organization regarding proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travelers, and that same is unreasonable.
“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene medical ethics and best practices that govern COVID-19 vaccine administration.”Revision-8-KIA-Covid-Guidelines-Dec11-2021-1Download
The government introduced the mandatory vaccination exercise as part of efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
This move formed part of efforts to ensure that the rate of infection does not rise during the Christmas season.
Among the measures, “Airlines who board passengers without proof of payment for the COVID -19 test and would/ could not pay for the test in Ghana will be fined US$3500 per passenger.”
Also, “non-Ghanaian passengers may be refused entry and be returned to the point of embarkation at cost to the Airline.”
The month of December has been declared by the GHS had as the vaccination month.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28, 2021, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye said vaccination was the surest way to deal with the virus.
He further assured that the authorities are going to scale up surveillance measures at the Kotoka International Airport during the Christmas season to ensure that Covid infections do not increase.
He further said that the mistakes that were made in December last year which occasioned the escalation of infections in January this year, will not be repeated.
There is going to be a “strict enforcement of the protocols at the KIA. We are going to increase surveillance. We are expecting increased number of people to arrive in the country.
“we are going to ensure that our logistics are prepared, we will continue our surveillance to be able to look at that, we are going to look at isolation centres,” he said.
He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.
“We are going to engage with religious organizations to ensure that activities in done in Christmas are in accordance with Covid protocols.”
Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, allayed fears of persons who are worried about the potential reaction from taking the covid vaccine.
He stated that it is normal to experience headache, body pains and other reactions. These are indications that the vaccine is functioning properly in the body, he said.
“If you are vaccinated and you feel slight headache it means the vaccine is working very well,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday December 4 with Dzifa Bampoh.
Dr Nsia Asare further urged all persons who are yet to receive their vaccines to do so in order to save their lives and the lives of others.
In his view, Ghana could not afford to go through fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic hence the government, through the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has taken the vaccination exercise a step higher in order to get as many as possible inoculated.
Vaccination centres, he stated, are being created closed to the people in the communities including market areas to make it easier for them to go through the exercise.
“We cannot afford a fourth wave,” he said, adding that “we can all do this together if you are vaccinated,” he said.
The GHS) this week issued new guidelines to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana ahead of the Christmas season.
The guidelines include measures to vaccinate as many as possible before the Christmas on December 25.
In a press releases issued on Thursday December 9, the GHS said “All persons, 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for Covid-19 vaccines.
“All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12 December 2021 are exempted. However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.”
It added “all Ghanaians traveling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effectively 12th midnight 2021.”