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Procure more of Johnson & Johnson vaccines – Gabriella Tetteh urges gov’t

One of the spokespersons for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Gabriella Tetteh, has urged the government to procure more of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines.

She said research has shown that the newly procured vaccines are potent in preventing a high percentage of persons from being admitted and a much larger percentage from dying.

With the support African Union is giving its member countries in procuring the new vaccines, Gabriella urged government to adjust her procurement calendar to fall in tandem with the AU’s.

Gabriella Tetteh was speaking in connection with newly procured Johnson & Johnson vaccines to replace the Sputnik V vaccines which have come under a lot of controversies. The Government earlier procured Sputnik V vaccines through middlemen which were on the high side. This affected the rate of vaccinations and government has since been looking for a better alternative.

Providing statistics on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, Gabriella Tetteh said information provided out there suggests that the nation is really in the thick of the new wave and that has led government to go in for a number of the new vaccines stressing that it may just not be enough.

“Our active cases are a little over 7,000 and out of that, 36 [patients] are in critical condition and from what I heard, 87 are severe, some of them are being managed at home but obviously it tells you that indeed we are experiencing the third wave and so now we know the Delta stream is the most active. And over the weekend, government took possession of about a hundred and seven thousand Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccines. That is still inadequate considering our numbers and how much it’s going to take us to head immunity,” she stated.

Gabriella indicated that statistically, the Johnson & Johnson vaccines have a better record of protecting and saving lives.

“According to research done in South Africa, on the efficacy of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, they discovered out of 480,000 case trials- individuals who are tried on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine they discovered that it was effective for protecting 71% of the 480,000 from hospitalization and then also 96% is effective against death. So I think that is good news,” she noted.

Ms. Tetteh emphasized that seeing that this new vaccine is better placed in providing a better health assistant than the others, government should opt for more of those and be quick in agreeing with the AU on the procurement period.

“The Johnson & Johnson package is about 400 million dose support from African Union to member states and I think that looking at how potent this vaccine is compared to the others against the Delta Strain, government should take more of the Johnson & Johnson and show more proactiveness in that. In the budget highlight that the finance minister read, he mentioned that government is taking seventeen million doses by the year ending 2021. In actual fact the AU program goes from 2021 to 2022 so looking at how our vaccine procurement strategy is playing out perhaps we should review that 2021 and make 2021 to 2022 so we are not surprised,” she stressed.

 

By: Ernest Tetteh Kabu           

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