Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical research teams across the globe swung into action to formulate a vaccine to prevent it. The AstraZeneca vaccine licensed to the Serum Institute of India (AZ/SII) has come to Ghana’s aid. 600,000 doses of the vaccine arrived at the Kotoka International Airport which was received by a delegation led by the Hon’ble Minister of Health designate – Kwaku Agyeman – Manu. Ghana is one among the 145 countries of the UN-led COVAX facility earmarked to take delivery of 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
However public awareness on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine seems to be inadequate. Many Ghanaians are averse to taking the vaccine and it has even gone up to the extent of parents advising their wards to keep away from the vaccine dose if administered in their schools. Even despite the assurance given by political leaders of Ghana on the safety of the vaccine, people are tending to prefer a herbal medicine – Cryptolepis Sanguinolenta locally known as “Nibima”. The medicine’s approval for the trial was announced on February 1 this year by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).