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COVID-19: Public Asked to get Vaccinated as Health Facilities Record new Infections

Speaking at a workshop on vaccine uptake for journalists in Accra, Dr Addipa-Adapoe said the symptoms of COVID-19 were now similar to that of malaria.

A Senior Medical Officer at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Addipa-Adapoe, has urged persons who are yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to do so to prevent them from contracting the disease.

He said although COVID-19 was no longer a public health threat, it was not completely eradicated, with people still getting infected and the virus manifesting with different symptoms.

Speaking at a workshop on vaccine uptake for journalists in Accra, Dr Addipa-Adapoe said the symptoms of COVID-19 were now similar to those of malaria.

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The workshop was organised by the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) with support from the World Health Organization and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

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“With the new infections, it is difficult to tell if it’s a COVID infection without testing, now you may experience headaches, cough, fever and sometimes sore throat, the likelihood of a loss of sense of taste and smell are no longer the case, persons infected may sometimes experience muscle weakness,” he said.

The medical doctor said with the onset of the rains, Coronavirus was manifesting as influenza like infections and that the public needed to be alert and report to hospitals when they experienced coughs and sore throats.

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Dr Addipa-Adapoe said COVID-19 was now like any other disease with the symptoms close to that of malaria and encouraged persons who experienced or suspected a COVID-19 infection to report to a health facility for treatment.

He said the vaccine was safe and an effective form of protection against the virus as it prevented the severity of the illness and deaths.

Data from the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) show that presently, there are 8, 306,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines available.

As of March 2024, 14,935,381 persons, representing 45 point five per cent of the total population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Similarly, 11,850,978 persons representing 46.5 per cent of 36 point nine per cent of total population are fully vaccinated while 6,889,700 have received a booster dose.

Mr. Naziru Tanko Mohammed, Deputy Programme Manager, EPI, said persons who were yet to be vaccinated could visit any of the vaccination centres to receive their jabs.

He said vaccination had conquered many childhood vaccine-preventable diseases in the country.

It helped with the elimination of Neonatal tetanus in 2011, no Wild Polio Virus reported in Ghana since 2008, no Measles death in Ghana between 2003 and 2021.

Mr. Mohammed said vaccination had contributed to a drastic reduction in pneumonia and diarrhea in children, strengthened health systems and contributed to the reduction of Under Five Mortality from 111 per 1000 live births in 2003 to 40 per 1000 live births in 2022.

A vaccine, according to the WHO, is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious or malignant disease prevention.

Vaccination is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting against harmful diseases before contact with them, it uses the body’s natural defenses to build resistance to specific infections, making immune systems stronger.

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