The Pharmaceutical Society Of Ghana (PSGH) has assured the public that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective in reducing severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
The PSGH said while no vaccine is 100 per cent protective, the above benefits are compelling enough for pharmacists to advocate for its use.
“We wish to reiterate that Covid-19 vaccines go through rigorous, multi-stage testing processes, including studies that involve tens of thousands of people, and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) have strong measures in place to help ensure the safety of all Covid-19 vaccines,” PSGH President, Pharm. Samuel Kow Donkoh, said in a statement.
It reminded the public that taking the vaccine is not just for the benefit of the individual. “Vaccination is to protect others as well who maybe at higher risk – especially the elderly and people with underlying health conditions because Covid-19 can be life-threatening for them,” he said.
The PSGH observing with worry the hesitancy of some individuals to take the vaccines said widespread acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines is crucial to achieving sufficient immunization coverage to end the pandemic.
“Pharmacists in Ghana realize that concerns about safety, side effects, and effectiveness are widespread—and observed among many people.
The PSGH admonishes the public to take advantage of the unique accessibility of pharmacists in the communities and engage them about any clarifications they may need about the pandemic and the vaccines,” he said.
PSGH also expressed concern about the emergence of a new and potentially dangerous variant of the SARS COV-2, Omicron, in some countries.
It however noted that at present, it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible, or causes more severe Covid-19, even though preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron.
“There is no evidence yet available that current vaccines do not work or are not effective against the Omicron variant, and vaccines remain critical to reducing severe disease and death,” the statement said.
The PSGH further called on the government and policy makers to ensure that Covid-19 vaccines are not only available but accessible and administered in a convenient and orderly manner.
“Immunizers should communicate in a language that is convenient to the local communities, provide services in a timely manner and respect the beliefs and culture of the people. A boost in appeal of immunization services is a vote for vaccine acceptance,” it added.