General

It’s premature to say vaccines can’t deal with Omicron – Noguchi

A Scientist with the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research in Accra, Dr. Bright Adu has advised Ghanaians to adhere to the preventive protocols for coronavirus as the new Omicron variant is being examined.

Speaking to Lantam Papanko on Starr Today, he reiterated the need for Ghanaians never to lose guard on the protocols such as avoiding crowded places, washing of hands among others so as to be better placed even if the new variant should get to the community.

“Omicron is barely a few weeks old so it will be quite premature for anybody to make such a concrete statement. In terms of vaccine efficacy against the virus or its infectivity, the transmission from persons to person or other interventions that are currently working, how it will deal with this particular virus. We agree and understand that this is quite a big jump in the evolution of the virus.

“Because if you look at this and delta there is quite a huge difference but these are early days yet and we have to be patient and keep monitoring as it emerges. The virus cannot 100% escape the activity of any vaccine because it’s still a coronavirus, and there is some semblance that the vaccine is made against. There would still be some (vaccine) effectiveness but we don’t know to what extent and this is what everyone is anxiously working on, to try and understand how effective it will be,” the Scientist explained to Starrfm.

He disclosed that there are satellite sample collection centers spread from South to the North of Ghana monitoring cases of influenza diseases adding that there is no case of Omicron Variant in the Ghanaian Community.

“These sites are used to monitor influenza diseases and people who report anything like fluid. We capture that, take samples and we look into all of these samples that we have collected and none of them had Omicron. So far as we can tell it has not yet escaped into the community.

“But of course we are monitoring and we will keep sequencing what we find to see if we can pick it up, if it is already in the Communities,” Dr. Adu added.

Background

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed that the COVID-19 Omicron variant has been discovered at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

However, the variant has not yet gotten to the Ghanaian communities.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, during a presentation at the launch of Ghana’s Covid-19 vaccination month which starts Wednesday, December 1, 2021, confirmed the Omicron variant has been detected in the country.

“The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 disease has been found at the Kotoka International Airport. The good thing is that in the community test done so far, we have not seen any Omicron within the community of Ghana. But the danger is that if someone has the Omicron, and it is incubating, it will not be found at the airport,” he cautioned.

However, the government has declared December as a vaccination month.

Source: Starrfm.com.gh

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