A virologist at the West African Centre for Cell Biology for Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), Dr. Peter Quarshie, has urged the Ghana Health Service to initiate a messaging campaign to make the public aware of the current situation on the COVID-19 vaccination.
Speaking on the up rise of varying information on the vaccine and the recent data on the fight against the pandemic, he asserted that when such a channel is created to disseminate information, the public will not be misinformed and will be up to date with information.
“The Ghana Health Service needs to embark on very clear and simple messaging campaign, that’s very powerful. Because people are saying we don’t know if they [vaccines] are finished; just show them the raw numbers.”Dr. Peter Quarshie
Despite the GHS having a dashboard on data for the cases recorded in the country, he admonished that the messaging campaign will also help inform the public on the number of people who are infected, the number of people who have died and the number of people who have been vaccinated.
Dr. Quarshie posited that the Ghana Health Service needs to channel the information through messages to help address the issue on the lack of information pertaining to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and to help with the vaccination exercise.
Petition content misleading
Commenting on information dissemination as well, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called for questioning of the information by the doctors who petitioned the President to halt the vaccine rollout.
The General Secretary of the Association, Dr. Titus Beyuo, asked for the doctors to be questioned because “to choose the medical information and present it in a particular way needs to be questioned”.
The content of the petition filed by the Doctors against the vaccine rollout, according to Dr. Beyuo is misleading. He insinuated that the content of the petition was not based on local and international scientific data.
The General Secretary of the GMA commenting on the petition, asked the doctors involved to present the right facts and not misinform the general public with their data.
“We should get the communication right. What has the scientific society said? What has the evidence available said? No one has said that COVID vaccine prevents you from getting an infection.”Titus Beyuo
According to him, as it stands now, the COVID vaccination reduces severe critical diseases, reduces ICU admission and reduces death.
“This is undisputed and if anybody has facts against that, they should let us know. People have the vaccine and they still get the infection but let’s not distort the scientific information and the fact that the vaccine prevents critical to severe disease.”Titus Beyuo
His comments follow some 11 doctors petitioning President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to issue a directive for a halt of the nationwide vaccine rollout in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The doctors asserted that the risks associated with these vaccines per the data study so far outweigh the potential benefits.