COVID-19: AstraZeneca and Sputnik V still effective against Indian variant – GHS
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has dismissed claims that Covid-19 vaccines AstraZeneca and Sputnik V are ineffective against the Indian strain of the virus, Delta variant.
“On the issues of vaccines, reports that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are not effective against the delta strain are untrue”
Earlier, the Head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens, WACCBIP, of the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awendare, suggested that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines were not effective against the Indian strain.
“Overall, we have about 45 or 46 different variants. The trend shows that all these normally come from travelers. Now that the Delta (Indian Variant) is taking over, it’s just a matter of time before it will come here in large quantities. We have a few here but it’s going to increase”
“Now we have to be looking at the right vaccines. All this while, we have 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. Awendare added.
GHS has admitted that the variant has been recorded in the country but only at the ports of entry and not within the community.
“As of now, the country has detected six delta variants of the SARS-CoV-2 from all samples taken between April-June 2021 at the ports of entry. No delta variant has been detected from samples taken from cases in the community”
Allaying public fears, the Director of Public Health, GHS, Dr. Franklin Asiedu Bekoe said there was no cause for alarm.
“One thing that is most important is what we call population immunity . . . For now, the government is trying to see that we will get more vaccines and then we can build that immunity… the vaccine, AstraZeneca, is so effective,” he further explained in an interview.
Dr. Bekoe, however, advised the public to continue to adhere to the Covid-19 preventive protocol, particularly the wearing of nose masks, social and physical distancing, and washing of hands with soap under running water.
“The Service would like to urge Ghanaians to take advantage of vaccination when their turn is due while entreating the general public to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention protocols i.e., wearing of face masks, practicing of hand hygiene and physical distancing as part of the strategies” parts of the statement read.