1,000 reports on adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana received – GHS

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The 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.