As Ghana plans to deploy COVID-19 vaccines by March 2021, social media misinformation about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines is already threatening its deployment.
In a YouTube video seen by GhanaFact, twelve people randomly interviewed in Accra said they will reject the vaccines, citing various false theories spreading online.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the government plans to vaccinate the entire population, with an initial target of twenty million people.
In this report, we have fact-checked some of the myths about COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana with the help of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
Myth: There is no coronavirus in Ghana.
This claim is false.
The government has since imposed several restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
As at 3 pm GMT on January 29, the country had recorded 67,010 confirmed cases, 60,357 discoveries/discharges and 416 deaths, with active cases reaching 5,358.
“….until further notice, funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties are banned. Private burials, with no more than twenty-five (25) people, can take place, with the enforcement of the social distancing, hygiene and mask-wearing protocols,” the President announced on January 31.
Myth: When you are vaccinated, you will rather become infected with COVID-19.
The claim is False.
Fact: You can’t get COVID-19 from the coronavirus vaccines because they do not contain live viruses. Vaccines contain weakened or inactive parts of a particular organism (antigen) that triggers an immune response within the body.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this weakened version will not cause the disease in the person receiving the vaccine, but it will prompt their immune system to respond much as it would have on its first reaction to the actual pathogen.
On January 13, the United States’ Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said none of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.
“COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19,” Associate Professor in Clinical Pharmacology and Director-General, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) Prof. Alex Dodoo told GhanaFact in an interview.
He explained that “sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever, and these symptoms are normal.”
Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
By: Sani Abdul-Rahman