An Immunologist and Research Fellow at the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana, Dr Yaw Bediako has cautioned against the immediate use of Sputnik V vaccines in the country as he says is yet to be approved by any of the continental health bodies.
Ghana has already received the first 160,000 of the Russian type vaccine which has been kept awaiting some 300,000 in addition later this week to get her vaccination program back on track due to cuts from India.
“In terms of the 61 countries, we have to be very careful because Sputnik V has not been approved by any of the large continental bodies, it’s not been approved by WHO, it’s not been approved by USFDA, it’s not been approved by yet by the European Medical Agency,” he said.
According to the research follow, countries that have so far approved of it, including Ghana, merely based their conclusion purely on the documentation submitted by the manufacturer of the vaccine and the clinical trials that were done.
“So I think the prudent thing to do will be to wait for more investigations, especially as it is currently under review by a highly respected European Medical agency,” he advised.
Dr Bediako who was speaking on JoyNews Thursday also noted there is a need to raise questions following the new data coming out from Brazil about the vaccine.
Authorities in Brazil have suspended the use of the vaccines in their country after they observed serious defects in people who receive the vaccine.
“It is possible that the batch that was used in the clinical trial was fine, perhaps the batch that was went to Brazil is compromised so it may be a quality control issue.
“But that still raises questions because we don’t know which batch we are getting, we don’t know if ours is compromised or not, and so as soon there’s an issue with a batch, then you basically pause using any of the vaccines till you’ve identified where the problems are.”
The Immunologist, therefore advised that the government place a hold on to the deployment of the vaccines and possibly conduct some test on the ones the country currently has in stock.
“I think we have to be very very cautious giving that this information has come out before we roll out on this vaccine”.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s vaccination rollout program risks being derailed as India cuts the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccines to other countries due to its own internal crises.
Daily coronavirus deaths in India have reached 200,000 with pressure on many hospitals showing no sign of dwindling amid a surging second wave.
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