Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, Programmes Manager of the Expanded Program on Immunisation of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has asured recipients of COVID-19 jabs of the protection of the vaccine.
According to him, even if these individuals do not receive the second dose within the scheduled time frame, they will not be reinfected.
Speaking in an interview, Dr Amponsa-Achiano revealed that, the effectiveness of the vaccine will not reduce. He further explained that the effectiveness of the first jab will be unaffected despite delays with the second dose.
“8 weeks was the earliest time we choose to administer the second jab; and it is not as if you miss the eight weeks it means your protection is gone. No, that is not it at all, your protection is still there.”
Guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine jab
Justifying his stance, Dr Amponsah-Achiano noted that the guidelines from the manufactures of the vaccination confirms his assertions. He further revealed that, the suitable time frame to administer a second jab must be between four to 12 weeks.
According to Dr Amponsa-Achiano, reports from the manufacturer suggests the second dose can be given any moment from 4 weeks to 12 weeks.
Dr. Amponsah-Achiano’s comment follows a statement from a virologist at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), Dr Michael Owusu. He indicated that first recipients will lose their protection if they do not get administered before the 12 weeks span.
“Assuming that we have to extend this to 12 weeks, the first thing is that, we cannot be sure of the efficacy and that has been indicated in the AstraZeneca drug. Because the efficacy indicated between 70 up to 90 percent is based on the data available which is 8-12 weeks.
“So, beyond the 12 weeks, you can’t be sure. What it could also mean is that because you are not sure of the efficacy beyond 12 weeks, those who were vaccinated may likely be susceptible to reinfection.”
That notwithstanding, Dr Amponsa-Achiano averred that postponement of the second phase from April to May, falls within the guidelines.
Government expedites vaccine procurement
Dr. Amponsh-Achiano further explained that government and other stakeholders are ferreting out ways to bring in more doses.
According to him, this will ensure that recipients of the first jab will receive their second doses within the said time frame.
“You will remember we went fully electronic and we have taken everybody’s data. We have that in the database and that in the appropriate time we will send reminders to those who are due to receive the vaccines when we have the vaccines available in the country”.
Meanwhile, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has revealed that 345 schools have recorded cases of COVID-19.
“Since we reopened the schools, 345 schools have recorded cases. We have recorded a total of 2,052 cases in schools in the country. Our current active case number is 13”.
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