Accept malaria vaccine without fear – SHAIP Africa encourages Ghanaians

Accra, May 9, GNA –
SHAIP Africa has urged Ghanaians to accept the malaria vaccine without any
panic but rather trust in the competence of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

This is because
vaccines used by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) are approved by the requisite
local and international bodies, while proper measures are always put in place
to ensure that the beneficiaries were safe. 

“SHAIP Africa would
also like to urge the FDA to ensure an effective Pharmacovigilance progamme as
they do for all newly introduced vaccines as a matter of public interest to
maintain the continuous trust of Ghanaians in the FDA Ghana and in vaccines.”

These were contained
in a press statement, signed by Mr Clement Clinton Blay, Chief Executive
Officer of the pro-health Non Governmental Organisation, and copied to the
Ghana News Agency, in Accra, on Thursday.

SHAIP Africa said
over the years, vaccines had been of substantial help to Ghana and Africa as a
whole, therefore, the malaria vaccine should not be met with hostility as a
section of the public were doing out of naivety.

The Expanded
Programme on Immunisation (EPI), adopted by Ghana in 1978, has about 13
vaccines in use in the country as well as some parts of Africa.

“As a reminder,
these include vaccines for Polio, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping
Cough, Yellow Fever, Measles, and Meningitis among others… the benefits of
which could never be downplayed,” SHAIP Africa said.

It urged the
pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders to join in the fight, with the
conviction that the fight against malaria was a multifaceted one.

Vaccinations work by
boosting the body’s immune system’s ability to fight certain infections by
teaching the immune system to recognise and fight specific organisms so that
when they are exposed to them, there is a much lower risk of getting sick.

GlaxoSmithKline plc
(gsk) a British multinational pharmaceutical company, has led the development
of malaria vaccine over decades. 

The Phase three
trial of the malaria vaccine was conducted by the company, in partnership with
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a network of African research
centres over five years from 2009, in seven sub-Saharan African countries.

They
are Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and the United
Republic of Tanzania, enrolling approximately 15,500 infants and young
children. 

Children who
received four doses of the vaccine have a significantly lower risk of
developing malaria 

Following a joint
review, convened by the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum (AVAREF) in May 2018,
the National Regulatory Authorities of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi authorised the
vaccine for use in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya, who are participating in this pilot
project.

GNA

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