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Ayariga’s claims on Akufo-Addo receiving malaria vaccination instead of COVID-19 vaccination & others false

Photo source: BBC 5 mins read

Claim: Akufo-Addo received a malaria vaccine, not coronavirus jab – Hassan Ayariga alleges.

President Akufo-Addo received a COVID-19 vaccine, not a malaria vaccine. The malaria vaccine is currently being piloted in selected parts of the country and is being administered to children between two and six years of age.

Full Text

Hassan Ayariga, 2020 flagbearer of the All People’s Congress (APC), has alleged that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo is yet to receive the real COVID-19 vaccine.

According to him, the President received a malaria vaccine and not a COVID-19 vaccine, on March 1, 2021, during a live televised event to kickstart Ghana’s COVID-19 National Vaccination Programme.

The claim was published on Ghanaweb in an interview to be aired on Monday, June 14, 2021, on GhanaWebTV.

“Ghana is the first country to take the vaccine, the president went and they gave him malaria vaccine and you call it corona vaccine, that was not corona vaccine. I’m sure he took malaria vaccine, that’s politics for you,” he claimed.

Verification

Ghana received over 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines under the WHO / UNICEF – led equitable vaccine distribution platform, COVAX.

On March 1, the president, his wife, and other top government functionaries publicly took their first dose of the vaccines, which was covered and reported by the WHO, the official Facebook page of the President as well as UTV on Youtube President Akufo-Addo, wife takes first COVID-19 Vaccine – YouTube

   Screenshots of President Akuffo Addo receiving the first shoot of COVID-19 Vaccines

In the video that showed the president taking the jab, nurses from the hospital administered the vaccines to the president and his spouse, publicly showing the bottles of the AstraZeneca vaccine that were used.

Also, photo evidence is available to show the exact bottle and the content that was given to the president, also shown below:

About the Malaria Vaccine: Are they available and are adults eligible?

The claim that President Akuffo Addo took a malaria vaccine is also false.

RTS, S is the first, and to date, the only vaccine that has demonstrated it can significantly reduce malaria, and life-threatening severe malaria, in young children. Beginning in 2019, three sub-Saharan African countries – Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi – are leading the introduction of the vaccine in selected areas of moderate-to-high malaria transmission as part of a large-scale pilot programme coordinated by WHO.

Screenshot of eligibility for the malaria vaccine

Specifically, the MVIP will assess the feasibility of administering the recommended four doses of the vaccine in children; the vaccine’s potential role in reducing childhood deaths; and its safety in the context of routine use. Data and information derived from the pilot will inform a WHO policy recommendation on the broader use of the vaccine.

The vaccine is currently being implemented as a pilot under the malaria vaccine implementation programme (MVIP) and integrated into the EPI in Ghana.

It is given to targeted children from six to two years of age.

Not even all children in the implementing countries are covered, hence, it is very unlikely an adult like the President will be given a malaria vaccine.

These two six-month-old babies were among the first to receive the new malaria vaccine during the national launch of the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme in Ghana.

Listening to Mr. Ayariga in the interview, he did not specify any evidence at his disposal but only claimed that:

“You see, we Africans we are dumb! A white man will never give you something good first when it is too good before himself, never. They have produced all those vaccines. Tell me, how many of these white countries have started taking the vaccine?”

Was Ghana the first country to start COVID-19 vaccinations? Even before the “white” countries?

The claim that no “white country started taking the vaccine” before Ghana is false.

On the 21st December 2020, then US President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, and on 11th  January  2021,  Biden got his second COVID jab as US ramped up vaccinations.

On December 20, then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was inoculated against COVID-19. He along with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein got vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine live on television.

Then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking his vaccine.

Several other notable figures, including Queen Elizabeth, Kamala Harris, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman are reported to have taken a COVID-19 vaccine.

Conclusion

It is evident from this fact check, among other things, that President Akufo-Addo is not eligible for the current malaria vaccine and therefore will not have been given that in place of a COVID-19 jab. It is also not true that no “white” country started the vaccination roll-out before Ghana launched hers on March 1, 2021. Therefore, Mr Ayariga’s claim that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took a malaria vaccine instead of the coronavirus vaccine is completely FALSE.

The Fact Checker produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship in partnership with ADARS FM (RADIO) to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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