The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says its safety monitoring of the second dose deployment of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has detected milder and fewer side effects of the vaccine compared to the first dose.
Thus, it says, it is satisfied with the benefits of using Covishield to vaccinate against COVID-19 in Ghana.
A press statement signed and issued by its Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Delese Darko said following the safety monitoring of the second dose deployment, the FDA’s Joint COVID-19 Safety Review Committee as at Friday, May 21, 2021 continues to be satisfied that the benefits of using Covishield to vaccinate against COVID-19 far exceed any risks the vaccine may pose.
It said as at Thursday, May 20, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) had administered 852,047 first doses and 107,744 second doses of Covishield vaccine in Ghana with few and mild side effects reported.
The most common side effects after the second dose were headache, fever, pain at injection site, body pains and vomiting which resolved within a day or two, the statement said.
“Information received from the second dose deployment so far indicates that side effects reported were milder and fewer compared to the first dose,” it added.
It said the Committee therefore recommends the continued use of the vaccine and advised that the second dose deployment by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) should continue and those due to receive their second dose go forward for their vaccine.
As of June 4, about 376,169 people had so far received the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the second round of the vaccination exercise in some parts of the country.
The number comprises 194,103 females, representing 51.6 per cent, and 182,066 males or 48.4 per cent in 42 selected districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions.
The exercise took off on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Together with those who have taken only one round of the dose, the GHS has in total administered 1,228,216 doses in the first and the second rounds of the exercise.