A group calling itself Coalition for Public Health and Justice has cautioned the government not to force the people to under take mandatory COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
According to the group, the mandatory covid vaccines infringes on the rights of the citizens to make personal informed medical choice as they deem fit, and it could adversely impact on the citizens in the long run.
The Coalition is made up of Doctors, Scientists, Lawyers, Pastors and Businessmen among others to promote and respect for health rights and justice for all persons in Ghana. The group is also to ensure strict adherence to sound public regulations and to propagate credible scientific information about Covid-19 and other public health matters.
Addressing the media in Accra, the Vice President of the Coalition for Public Health and Justice, Dr. Timothy Oblitey Armah, stated that the group has petitioned President Akufo-Addo to rescind his decision to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory in public and private institutions across the country.
He stated that the group disagrees with government banking all hopes on the Covid-19 vaccines saying there are many unanswered questions in terms of its efficacy, necessity and its safety.
To Dr. Armah, vaccination is a voluntary affair hence no one should be forced to take any jab against their will, and therefor he does not see the need for the government to make vaccination mandatory.
“There is no current official mandate requiring mandatory vaccine rollouts within the country and on the issue of necessity, there is clear evidence of the public health impact of vaccination in terms of infections, hospitalizations, deaths prevented and improved health outcomes that cannot simply be brushed aside, providing data from a single management centre, which is the Ghana Infectious Diseases Centre”. He stated.
Commenting on the issue of efficacy and safety of the vaccine, Dr. Armah pointed out that Ghana continues to boast of a robust and advanced monitoring process in ensuring safety in the medicines, vaccines and other health products. He added that the most commonly reported adverse events following immunization are headaches, fever, pain at the injection sites and body pains, which usually resolves within a day or two.
Dr. Armah reiterated that the risks associated with the Covid-19 vaccines per data they have studied outweigh the potential benefits. He cited the UK and Israel to point out how these two countries are still battling with the virus despite the high vaccination rate of their respective populations.
“These countries have very high vaccination rates, currently deploying booster programmes, yet they are struggling to get the virus under control especially with these new variants.”
“Assuming as a country we are to vaccinate more than 50% of our population, are we going to continue with perpetual boosters every 3 to 6 months in an attempt to maintain vaccine-induced immunity for this disease? “Where then is the endpoint when these vaccines do not stop infection or the spread of Covid-19? Is this financially feasible for us as a nation? He questioned.
Dr. Armah stated that the group stand resolute and sure that their desire to make the ordinary Ghanaian aware of the truth and the nuances of the happenings in Ghana would help to collectively arrive at the best possible avenues for dealing with the pandemic.
A legal practitioner and a member of the group, Richard NuneKpeku noted that vaccination cannot be made compulsory without any legal backing.
He posited that Ghanaians must be convinced to take the jab instead of making it mandatory or compulsory.
The lawyer said if the government want to make the vaccination compulsory, then the President must issue an Executive Instrument before the vaccination can be made compulsory adding without the Executive Instrument, anyone can go to court and challenge the directive for compulsory vaccination.
A Scientist with the Coalition, Kwame Edem Senanu appeal to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo to call his Ministers and other appointees to order to do what is in the best interest of every single citizen, not some citizens, not the majority of citizens, but every single citizen, because every life counts.
He stated that vaccinations can continue but should not be compulsory in the context of the global scientific evidence that is available and in the absence of an Executive Instrument and for that matter there is currently no basis for an Executive Instrument.
Mr. Senanu pleaded with the Minister of Health and the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, together with the Minster of Education and the Director General of the Ghana Education Service to as a matter of urgency withdraw the various directives mandating vaccinations.
He urged the government and the technical team advising the government to consider and promote all the safer alternatives that exist to regularly highlight these as well as provide information on the adverse reactions that citizens have experienced as a result of vaccinations.
Mr. Senanu cautioned that the government should not force, compel or insist on mandatory vaccinations for citizens, including public sector workers in the health sector saying; this infringes on citizens’ rights to make personal informed medical choices as they deem fit and can adversely impact citizens in the long run.
By: Paul Mamattah