Chief Pharmacist at the Cocoa Clinic in Accra, Dr. Edward Amporful is urging recipients who suffered adverse reactions upon taking the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines to see their doctors before they go for the second jab.
This comes on the heels of pockets of information that suggest most of the first takers in parts of the Western region will not return for a second dose due to some reactions that they experienced.
Some four hundred (400) people took their jabs at the Kejebril-COCOBOD centre in Ahanta West in the Western region. But about fifty percent of the recipients reported one form of reaction, Mr. Simon Ansong, mobilizer of the centre, told ZAMIReports’ Joy Sena Anku.
“Many of the symptoms according to the reports received started a day after the jab. With the exception of a few, who didn’t feel any symptom at all, more than half reported one symptom at least. Many said they felt feverish all day which was stopped by a few doses of paracetamol. A lady called me at midnight, that she was vomiting and having diarrhea all night. I have to advise her to take water to keep hydrated before she felt better.”
A total of 847,871 vaccines had been administered in Ghana as of 12th May 202, but with the recorded numbers of side effects among some recipients in the Western region, management at the hospital are worried the recipients might not show up for the second jabs scheduled for 19th May.
One of the recipients of the first batch, Mr. Richard Agblor, does not want to be reminded of the vaccines. He intimates it will take a “bulldozer to pull” him to the centre due to previous experience.
“ I took my jab on Wednesday. In the evening, I started feeling uneasy with general unwellness to the extent that even when my phone was ringing, I couldn’t move to pick it up. All my nostrils were blocked, I couldn’t breathe. I was just chocking. It’s like having severe catarrh with both nostrils blocked. So, I started gasping for air through my mouth. I felt I was dying.”
He is well and hearty but says he will not continue with his dosage. He suspects his condition was severe due to his asthmatic condition.
“I now understand what those who had severe Covid-19 went though. Now I’m okay but it took me more than 2 days to recover from that predicament after drinking lots of water and taken paracetamol.”
He added that “I don’t know why mine was so serious. I don’t know if it was because I’m asthmatic. What I went through, honestly, I won’t advise anyone to go for that thing”, Agblor quizzed.
Dr. Leslie Afutu, the medical officer in-charge of the Cocoa Clinic-Kejebril Takoradi however, had a positive testimony.
“We have checked all our folders and there is no record of major vaccine reactions. No official record of vaccine complications so far. Not even among the clinic staff or the general staff. Not something we have officially recorded that someone had a complication that needed major attention like injection or hospitalization.’’
The country is set to roll out the 2nd phase of inoculation with the delivery of 350,000 additional doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine under COVAX on 7th May.
Dr. Edward Amporful, is optimistic recipients will return for the second dose. He is urging them to consult their doctors for how to get ready for the jab to avoid severe complications.
Ghana’s First COVID-19 Cases.
A paragraph of a press statement from Ghana’s Ministry of Health dated 12th March, 2020 read, “The Ministry of health has confirmed two (2) cases of COVID-19. The individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey.”
One year on, the virus that began in Wuhan Province in China has infected 162,773,940 people and killed 3,375,573 globally as of 5:33pm CEST on 17th May 2021. of 1,264,164,553 vaccine doses have been administered globally as of 12 May 2021.
In Ghana, from 3rd January 2020 to 5:33pm CEST, 17 May 2021, there have been 93,333 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 783 deaths, reported to World Health Organization. The country rolled out its inoculation campaign on 2nd March 2021 after the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo on 1st March took the first jab on live television at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
The West African country with about thirty million population took delivery of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines from India under the COVAX Facility.
The Indian Government also donated some 50,000 doses of vaccines of AstraZeneca while the Government of Ghana also purchased some 2, 000 doses. MTN Africa donated 165,000 and 149,850 doses to the country. Among the vaccines were some 10,000 and 6,000 Sputnik. V vaccines in component 1 and 2 respectively.
The medicine is administered by two 0.5 ml doses injected into the upper arm with the WHO recommending the second is given 8 to 12 weeks after the first for optimum efficacy. In the presidents 25th COVID-19 address to the nation this will take place from the 19th to 26th May, 2021.
Fact checked reports on side effects.
A search on https://www.fact-checkghana.com did not archive Mr. Richard’s kind of side effects but did reveal that “The African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a statement allaying rising fears among citizens across the Continent in the wake of reported blood-clots related to the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines by Oxford.”
On blood clot related to the vaccines, the Ghana Health Service debunked claims that some recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccines in April developed blood clot. This was contained in a fact-check report by Fact-check Ghana.
The report is also quoting the Manager of Expanded Programme on Immunization at the GHS, Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano as saying, “In Ghana, we haven’t even discovered anything at all. But we are still monitoring”.
Has enough been done in education in terms of reactions recorded which might mitigate against a successful inoculation?
The writer is a Mentee under the Mobilizing Media to Fighting COVID-19 Project by Journalists for Human Rights.
By Joy Sena Anku| www.zamireports.com| Western Region