As many people are speaking against the Ebola vaccine trial in the country, former boss of Food and Drugs Authority, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko says there is nothing wrong scientifically with the clinical test.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Monday gave international pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson, Bavarian Nordic, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to commence the trial in the country.
But following the massive public outcry, government called for a suspension of the exercise in the earmarked places in the Volta and Brong Ahafo regions.
But speaking to the issue of Ebola Vaccine trial, Hon. Agyarko on Oman Fm’s "National Agenda" Morning Show said the error in this exercise was the inadequate information the FDA gave to the public concerning the Ebola clinical test.
He reminded that the test is similar to how Ghana tested Polio vaccine and now it has been part and parcel in raising a child with it by injecting babies when they are born.
He understood the fear of Ghanaians as they are not comfortable with the name Ebola to the extent of desiring to voluntarily undergo testing; adding “Ebola is scary and it puts fear on the whole world”.
He maintained that if the public engagement had gone well as expected, Ghanaians perhaps will not have kicked against the Ebola clinical trial; emphasizing that there is nothing wrong in the test with the Ebola vaccine scientifically.
“I believe if the public engagement had gone well as expected, maybe it will not have ended in this way. I want to emphasize that by way of science, there is nothing wrong in testing with the Ebola vaccine. What they sort to do is called clinical trial and over the last 50 years, this has been going on to improve upon medicines,” he explained.
He stressed that the exercise is necessary in Ghana because the way whites react to vaccine is different from how the blacks react to the same vaccine; thus, this explains why after the same exercise has been carried out in USA and UK, similar thing should be done in Africa to ascertain the reaction differences.
He further assured that the clinical trial does not mean Ghanaians will be infected with the Ebola virus.
He insisted ordinarily, there have not been any side effects in these trials which have taken place in the past but admitted something can go wrong except that it is once in a long while.
He however equated the side effect to how sometimes airplanes crash in the air but does not mean airplanes are not good.
Source: Daniel Adu Darko/Peacefmonline.com.gh/E-mail: [email protected]
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