Mr Kwame Owusu Amponsah Daniel, the Dormaa Central Municipal Disease Control Officer, has engaged the Local Council of Churches on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and disinformation circulated by some pastors within the Municipality.
He said the attention of the Council was drawn by the Directorate about the issue after a Pastor mounted a radio platform to spread information suggesting that, “COVID vaccines emanated from anti-Christ and thus anyone who accept it is receiving the marks of 666 and belong to anti-Christ”.
He declined to name and identify the Pastor noting the Council had agreed to take the matter up, but pointed out clearly that some of the Pastors and churches operating in the area were not registered members of the Council.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Dormaa Ahenkro, Mr Amponsah said other rumours, misinformation spreading around included; possibility of men suffering erectile dysfunction after taking the vaccine and concerns that some citizens of Western countries where the COVID-19 vaccine originated and were manufactured or produced were themselves rejecting and disapproving of the vaccines.
He explained that they were working to disabuse people’s minds on those issues promoted by anti-vaccine campaigners and doubters saying the President of Ghana himself had shown leadership and inspired confidence in the vaccine by taking the jab.
“Every vaccine has minor side effects like tetanus. Vaccines are not new in Ghana. The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was started in 1978 elderly persons, lactating mothers and babies have benefited from its protection nationwide.
“Those who are trying to kick against the vaccination exercise are doing so under the influence of cultural beliefs, entreating Ghanaians to trust and have confidence in the efficacy and safety of the vaccine,” he added.
Mr Amponsah stated that an ongoing sensitization, education campaign and awareness creation programme has been embarked on for a number of churches and mosques in the area, through its community health workers at the sub-district levels across the Municipality and its catchment areas about the impending vaccination exercise and on radio platforms.
On how vaccination exercise will be rolled out in the Municipality, he stated that the Municipality will follow the national strategy with guidance and directions at the regional level.
“We are yet to determine the number of people who would be vaccinated in the Municipality and vaccinators and volunteers to be recruited and deployed for the exercise, “he said adding such issue will be discussed at an impending training exercise to be organized at the regional level”.
The Municipal Disease Control Officer disclosed that the office they agreed at a meeting with the Municipal Health Director to invite traditional authority led by the Dormaahene and Dormaahemaa to publicly take part in the vaccination exercise.
“We intend to use these prominent personalities to encourage members of the public to participate,” he stated.
Others to follow include; the Police, staff of Circuit Court, General Manager of Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital the exercise to be held preferably at the Assembly Block, Market, Lorry Station or any other public place to attract the public, Mr Owusu Amponsah Daniel noted.