Health

GMA blasts “Concerned Doctors” for kicking against mandatory vaccination

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has stated that COVID-19 vaccines in the country are potent and efficacious.

It said data available to it supports the efficacy and safety of all the COVID-19 vaccines used in Ghana.

These were contained in a statement jointly signed by its President, Dr. Frank Serebour and General Secretary, Dr. Titus Beyuo in reaction to media reports on a petition by some doctors to the President on the vaccines.

The statement said the GMA found the contents of the said petition “misleading, unfortunate, and not based on available local and international scientific data”.

It said, it therefore, dissociates itself from the said petition.

“In the era of evidence-based medicine, it is unacceptable that professionals will draw such flawed conclusions based on skewed data that has not gone through the rigors of scientific proof”, it said.

The statement said the contents of the petition did not in anyway reflect the situation of COVID-19 in Ghana.

It said the evidence that the vaccines reduced the incidence of critical illness, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and deaths globally and in Ghana was undisputed.

It said whiles it acknowledged that individual doctors might have concerns based on personal beliefs, it encouraged doctors to be guided by the available medical evidence in their public discourse and channel all grievances through the appropriate avenues for redress.

“If care is not taken, such perceptions will be carried through to these other vaccines and that will create a huge health challenge for us,” it added.

The statement encouraged all persons in Ghana to avail themselves to the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme and continue to adhere to all the safety protocol.

Earlier, some concerned doctors in the country had petitioned the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to quit the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines whose risk they say far outweigh any potential benefits.

According to them, many safety issues have been raised all over the world with the vaccines, saying most of the vaccines were developed under a year.

The petition said although there were no reliable Ghanaian database of adverse events of the COVID-19 vaccines, “we had no option than to refer to foreign databases namely the United states and WHO’s databases”.

Some of the doctors who signed the petition include Dr. Bismark Opoku-Asare, member, COVID case management team, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital; Dr Faisal Adjei, Surgical Specialist, and Dr William Ghunney, Specialist Hematologist.

“Individually, as physicians, we have also personally seen many patients who develop known side-effects of these vaccines within days to weeks of going for these jabs,” they said and mentioned some of the effects to include facial paralysis from Bell’s palsy, strokes, thrombotic phenomena (blood clots), myocarditis, visual disturbances, among others.

Reacting to the petition from the concerned doctors, the Minister of Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, emphasized that government’s mandatory vaccination policy was non-negotiable.

Speaking on GTV yesterday morning, the Health Minister stressed that while the vaccination was not compulsory, it was required to access public offices and organizations for service.

“If you are going to a public place and you are not vaccinated, those of us there too we want protection. It is our right so we don’t want to entertain you there until you are vaccinated,” he explained.

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