The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has rejected claims that the vaccines procured by Ghana are not potent against the new Delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
According to a statement signed by Director-General, Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the assertion about the new strain which has now been recorded in Ghana is not backed by data.
Describing the claims as false, the June 22 communiqué referred to the Public Health England (PHE) as saying that “two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are highly effective against hospitalisation due to the Delta variant and showed no deaths among those vaccinated.”
On Monday, Head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) of the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awendare, confirmed that the strain is one of the 45 variants which are currently in Ghana.
While throwing light on the nature of the new strain, Prof Gordon Awendare explained that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines may not be entirely effective against the variant.
“Now we have to be looking at the right vaccines. All this while, we’ve been fixed on AstraZeneca and Sputnik V, but we have to shift towards more Pfizer and others that have a better chance of protecting against this variant. Because the future is, we are going towards these aggressive variants”, Prof Gordon Awendare stressed on Joy Prime.
However, the Ghana Health Service is of a different view.
“A study conducted by Gamaleya Center suggests that Sputnik-V is more efficient against the Delta variant of coronavirus, first detected in India, compared to other COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement said.
“The data also suggest that the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant,” GHS added.
The Ghana Health Service further revealed that Ghana has detected six of the said variants from samples taken between April and June this year.
The press release said the samples which were taken at the country’s points of entry are the only ones detected so far as samples taken from the community have not shown evidence of the new variant.
GHS, however, stressed that the Health Ministry, GHS and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) are “working collaboratively to ensure that vaccines that come into the country are safe and effective.”