While Ghana is gleefully waiting for its next batch of free delivery of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, some 17 countries in Europe and South Africa have suspended its rollout over fears of blood clots in recipients.
Some 40 people are reportedly dead from suspected adverse effects caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Spain was the latest to suspend the use of AstraZeneca, after reports of adverse side effects prompted more than a dozen other states to do the same, despite assurances from EU regulators that the jab is safe.
Spanish health officials said on Monday night that they would halt vaccinations for the AstraZeneca inoculation for at least two weeks, pending a safety review, a decision mirrored in France, Portugal, Cyprus and Slovenia on the same day. All pointed to recent reports of blood clotting and several deaths among recipients of the vaccine.
While the EU’s top drugs regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said it is now reviewing the reports – which include deaths in Austria, Denmark, Italy and Norway – it maintained that “the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalization and death, outweigh the risks of side effects.”
Austria was the first country to partially suspend its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccination after a recipient was diagnosed with multiple thrombosis (clotting within several blood vessels at once) and died 10 days after the shot. At least three others experienced adverse effects from the same batch.
Days later, South Africa, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Romania all suspended the use of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, in Ghana, President Akufo Addo and First Lady Rebecca Akufo Addo were the first to receive the vaccine. Later, some 600,000 Ghanaians would be vaccinated with their first dose of the mRNA vaccine-the first of its kind ever used for vaccination against a pandemic.
The second dose of the vaccine for Ghana is due in the next few days.
Whatsup News has sampled a few recipients of the vaccine who have complained of adverse side effects after receiving their first dose, but the majority have claimed their side effects had been mild.
Ghana generally has a poor reporting system on adverse effects of vaccines, and that could be attributed to the low cases of side effects being recorded, critics have noted.