A Senior Researcher at the University of Ghana (UG) – Legon in Accra, Dr Peter Kojo Quashie has disclosed that clinical trials suggest that overall protection of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is slightly lower against the India variant which has slipped through Ghana.
“Some researchers say the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has about 80% ability to kill the new variant but for now we don’t have a 100% assurance. It cannot deal with it like the old virus that came into the system,” he told Kasapa 102.5 Fm.
Notwithstanding this, the country is expected to receive its first batch of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines in August.
This follows the approval by Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for its use in the country.
Ghana has recorded two cases of the highly most transmissible COVID-19 variant, referred to as the Delta Variant originating from India.
Speaking to Bonohene Baffour Awuah on Ghana Kasa on Kasapa 102.5 FM, he said the symptoms of the new variant might be deceptive to Ghanaians because it’s slightly different though one would have serious cold, running-nose and cough and so you might think it’s not COVID-19.
According to him, the transmission of the new variant from person to person is faster than the very first virus that was discovered in China.
“What we know is the new variant is not yet among Ghanaians, but we have two persons who have entered Ghana with it and have been quarantined. Usually, it’s just a matter of time that it starts spreading, which means that we need to tighten the enforcement of the protocols,” he advised.
The UG Researcher, however, suggested that there should be random sampling at the borders and ports since there are illegal means people use in crossing into the country.
“But so far the airport screening is working, that’s why we are able to pick persons with the new variant. I really trust the workers at the airport, because the airport test for travellers has really safe the nation a lot,” he added.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified this coronavirus variant, first found in India last year, as a “variant of global concern”.