The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public against the sale and purchase of unregistered COVID-19 vaccines, with failure to abide, the rule attracts a fine of up to GHC180, 000.
Contained in a statement, the FDA explained its attention has been drawn “some unscrupulous members of the business community are peddling information on the sale of COVID-19 vaccines to hospitals and other health facilities”.
“The information is ostensibly to inform the general public of the availability of these vaccines from well-known pharmaceutical brands indicating their price ranges”.
“The general public is hereby cautioned against the patronage of such vaccines since the FDA has not yet approved any COVID-19 vaccine for use in Ghana. In view of the above, the FDA wishes to inform all health facilities and the general public that, peddling of such information contravenes Section 118 of the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851 and constitutes a very serious offence”.
The statement further stressed that “anyone caught dealing with unregistered COVID-19 vaccine will be sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of Section 129 of Act 851, which includes a fine of up to GHC180, 000 or to a term of imprisonment of up to 25 years or both”.
Additionally, the Authority further noted that, when the COVID-19 vaccine is approved, the Ministry of Health will issue “a national policy on the use of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the health sector”.
Although President Akufo-Addo has promised that Ghana won’t be left out in accessing the approved vaccines, the government has not yet approved any vaccine.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during the management of the Coronavirus pandemic in Ghana gave the assurance that Ghana will have access to vaccines for the novel Coronavirus.
According to the President, a team of experts from various agencies and institutions has been constituted to ensure the procurement and deployment of vaccines across Ghana.
“Ghana, I assure you, is not going to be left behind in having access to the vaccines. I am aware of the anxieties relating to the safety and efficacy of newly-developed vaccines.
“Government will ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines to be deployed in the country are effective and are safe. To this end, I have put together a team of experts from the relevant agencies and institutions who are working assiduously towards the deployment and procurement of vaccines,” he added.
Currently, countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom have begun trials of the use of COVID-19 vaccines to curb the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, a virologist at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) Dr. Augustina Sylvaken has explained people can experience different reactions to COVID-19 vaccine as with every other vaccine.
With Ghana set to receive the first set of vaccines by March 2021, there is a growing sense of worry on possible side-effects of the vaccine.
Speaking in an interview, Dr. Sylvaken noted every drug introduced into the human system could be detected as a foreign material by the body’s immune system which invokes a reaction.
“Everyone has different reactions to medicine. Some people get irritated or even develop diarrhea after taking malaria drugs, some kids have no effects to injection whilst others develop some adverse effects”.