Editorial: Let’s be responsible by taking the Covid-19 vaccine
The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church has called on members of the church across the country to consider “responsible immunisation” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, according to the church, is because its members have been taking vaccines against viruses and diseases from time immemorial and, therefore the vaccination against COVID-19 cannot be an exemption.
In a statement issued by the church and signed by the President of the Church in Ghana, Pastor Thomas Techie Ocran, following the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country, said the SDA church recognises the global magnitude of the pandemic, the deaths, disability and long-term COVID-19 effects that are emerging in all age groups, and encourages its members to consider going for the vaccination.
It is in the light of the position taken by the SDA church and like-minded organizations, as well some persons, that The Chronicle would like to call on all Ghanaians to line up in their numbers for the COVID-19 vaccination, when the health officials begin the exercise on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
We are making this call at this time because of the numerous uninformed discussions among a section of the populace that the vaccine may be dangerous to the health of the people.
To us at The Chronicle, the greatest harm we can cause ourselves in this era is to refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine, judging from the devastating effect of the virus since it hit the world.
Even though individuals have the liberty to take their own decisions, what we should not lose sight of, as a nation, is that pandemics are security issues and nations all over the world are expected to act responsibly to save the lives of their citizens, and that is what government has done by making the vaccines available in the country.
The Chronicle recalls previous pandemics that took the world by storm and left in their wake devastating effects.
Athens, Antonine Plague, Cyprian Plague, Justinian Plague, Leprosy, the Black Death, the Columbian Exchange, the Great Plague of London, were some pandemics that killed millions of people many years ago.
Others included the First Cholera Pandemic, the Third Plague Pandemic, Fiji Measles Pandemic, Russian Flu, Spanish Flu, Asian flu, HIV/AIDS and SARS. All these diseases wiped millions of the working population, before solutions were later found.
From the above it would, therefore, be suicidal for any individual or group of persons to kick against the COVID-19 vaccine.
To bring those churning negative arguments against the COVID-19 vaccines up to speed with the facts, The Chronicle would like to stress that the story of vaccines began with the long history of infectious disease in humans, and in particular, with early uses of smallpox material to provide immunity to that disease.
The Chronicle would like to remind the public that evidence exists that the Chinese employed smallpox inoculation or variolation as early as 1000 CE. It was practiced in Africa and Turkey as well, before it spread to Europe and the Americas.
The vaccine against smallpox, rabies vaccine, antitoxins and vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, anthrax, cholera, plague, typhoid, tuberculosis and vaccines for polio among others, have all saved millions of lives on the globe and serve as living testimony that should encourage every Ghanaian to readily accept the COVID-19 vaccine.
The good news is that, today, innovative techniques now drive vaccine research, with recombinant DNA technology and new delivery techniques leading scientists in new directions.
Disease targets have expanded and some vaccine research is beginning to focus on non-infectious conditions such as addiction and allergies.
We are not in normal times, especially with the second wave of the Coronavirus threatening more lives, and the only weapon at our disposal is the vaccine.
In conclusion, let us commend the government for bringing in the vaccines and we hope the health officials would carry out the vaccination exercise professionally to save lives, following extensive public education.