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Ghana to begin COVID-19 vaccine trial in July

It follows selection of Ghana as one of the countries for the third phase of the clinical trial of Sanofi and Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccines

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) will from next month begin phase three clinical trial of Sanofi and Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccines in Kintampo, Navrongo and Dodowa.

It follows the selection of Ghana as one of the countries for the third phase of the clinical trial of the two COVID-19 vaccines from France and Russia.

According to the Daily Graphic, Kintampo Health Research Centre is handling the clinical trial in the Kintampo area.

Dr Kwaku Poku Asante , director of the Kintampo Health Research Centre said over 1500 volunteers have  been recruited for the trial in Kintampo.

Sputnik Light same as the Johnson & Johnson one, is a single dose COVID-19 vaccine. With Sputnik-V, a second dose is administered after 24 weeks for maximum protection but with Sputnik Light, it is just a single dose.

Stop procurement of Sputnik V

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament is demanding the immediate suspension of the procurement of Sputnik V Vaccines by the government.

The Minority has therefore filed a motion for a bipartisan inquiry into the procurement of the vaccines.

According to the Minority, this is based on the detection of fraudulent activities between the government and middlemen involved in procuring the vaccines.

It says there are significant breaches of regulations regarding international procurement transactions in the deal which requires ratification from Parliament.

Addressing the media in Parliament on Thursday (24 June), the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the deal is not in the best interest of the country.

He said, “We the minority believe that this contract is not in the interest of Ghanaians and whether payments have been made or not, the contract is null and void and government must as a matter of urgency put in the necessary steps to abrogate the contract.

“We are of the view that the Sputnik contract signed on behalf of the government and the third party is not in the interest of Ghana. It is not probably the best to justify the safety and health of Ghanaians and therefore we are calling for a halt and a probe,” he said.

Rip-off

He added, “We have accordingly filed a motion parliamentary motion to demand a bi-partisan investigation and enquiry into the matter and the report will advise us accordingly on what course of action to take. “

Iddrisu said the revelations from the report may force some officials involved in the deal to lose their jobs.

He further described the government’s contract with Frontiers Health Service at the airport as a rip-off.

“How many Ghanaian passengers have entered the country in the last year, multiply it plus or minus fifty depending on the citizen, this is a complete rip-off, “ he said.

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