Unproven remedies, myths, fake news about COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy are real issues that could hamper Ghana’s quest to get COVID-19 under control.
After receiving 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines under COVAX, a global scheme to procure free coronavirus jabs for poorer countries, Ghana has roll-out a vaccination programme targetting frontline workers and the most vulnerable.
However, some social media reactions show people still have reservations about the vaccine and are demanding answers to their lingering questions.
This explainer article with facts from the World Health Organization(WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and other credible health platforms will seek to address some of the questions.
1. If I get vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask?
Answer: No! COVID-19 vaccines will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic. However, even after vaccination, everyone should continue to follow the protocols including wearing face masks and maintaining physical distance while in public spaces.
2. If I get vaccinated, will I be resistant to COVID-19?
Answer: No! You can still get infected after you’ve been vaccinated. But your chances of getting seriously ill are almost zero.
3. If I get vaccinated, at least I won’t be contagious to others, right?
Answer: Vaccination doesn’t completely prevent infection but it will significantly reduce the amount of virus coming out of your nose and mouth – a process called shedding – and shorten the time that you shed the virus. A person who sheds less virus is less likely to transmit it to someone else.
4. How long does protection from a COVID vaccine last?
Answer: According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the time frame of the vaccine to provide protection is not yet known. “We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice”.
5. If my parents, grandparents, and I all get vaccinated, can we hug each other again?
Answer: Vaccinated grandparents could safely play with their unimmunized grandchildren. If you’ve been fully vaccinated: You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
6. What is the benefit of even getting vaccinated at all?
Answer: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to reduce a person’s chance of becoming sick with COVID-19 disease
7. Are you sure the vaccine won’t injure me or kill me?
Answer: Vaccination is safe and side effects from a vaccine are usually minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. Remember, you are far more likely to be seriously injured by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine
8. If I experience a severe adverse reaction, or long- term effects still unknown, or I die from the vaccine, will I and my family be compensated from the vaccine manufacturers or the Government?
Answer: The World Health Organization (WHO) and Chubb Limited (NYSE: CB) have signed an agreement on behalf of the COVAX Facility on 17 February 2021 for the administration of a “no-fault compensation” programme for the 92 low- and middle-income countries and economies eligible for support from the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) of the COVAX Facility.
By: Gifty Tracy Aminu