The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has stressed the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines and called on the public to avail themselves of the jabs.
The President of PSGH, Mr Samuel Kow Donkoh, has assured the Ghanaian public that the COVID-19 vaccines had gone through the necessary testing processes and had been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
He said the jab protected individuals and helped to prevent the spread of the disease to others who might be susceptible, especially the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, because COVID-19 could be life-threatening for them.
Mr Donkoh spoke to the Daily Graphic yesterday following a statement his outfit issued last Wednesday and urged the public to take the vaccination seriously.
The statement came at a time when a new variant, Omicron, had been detected at the Kotoka International Airport, with countries banning travels from territories with the new variant into their jurisdictions.
The president of the PSGH explained that the emergence of the new and potentially dangerous variant made it even more imperative for the public to engage and seek clarifications about the misconceptions, myths and conspiracy theories about the pandemic and the vaccines from pharmacists in the communities.
He said the new variant was said to have several mutations that could potentially impact its behaviour.
Mr Donkor added that some individuals were hesitant to take the vaccines due to fear and insufficient sensitisation to the Covid-19 vaccines, but stressed that it was crucial to take the vaccines to reduce severe sickness of an infected person and death.
Mr Donkor urged health workers to communicate in languages that were appropriate to the local communities, provide quality services in a timely manner and respect the beliefs and culture of the people.
The PSGH, however, appealed to the government to ensure that the vaccines were accessible and administered to the public in a convenient and orderly manner.
He also encouraged the public to continue to observe the relevant safety protocols, including frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitiser when handwashing was not possible, maintaining social distance, and wearing face masks.
Speaking about the declaration of December as the National Vaccine Month, Mr Donkor said the policy for mandatory vaccination was a step in the right direction to prevent a surge in the festive season.
“Ghanaians are social people who have a lot of social events in December. The country is filled to the brim with festivities and events — including parties, concerts and cinemas — during this season. These events are fast spreaders of the virus and can cause mass infections in the country,” he said.