Sammy Gyamfi triggers RTI Act on COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana

A Ghanaian citizen and private legal practitioner, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, has requested the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to furnish him with information regarding the registration and approval of vaccines used in Ghana for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vaccines are the Sputnik V (Gam-COVIDVac), the Covishield, the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Ad26.COV2.S), the Pfizer – BioNTech’s Comimarty (BNT162B2), Moderna’s Spikevax (mRNA 1273) and the Vaxzevira (AZD1222).

The applicant said he is requesting these pieces of information from the two state institutions in accordance with the 1992 Constitution and Section 18 of the Right to Information Act, 2019, (ACT 989).

Mr Gyamfi has recently come under the spotlight for criticising government’s decision to force Ghanaians and citizens of other countries coming to Ghana to be vaccinated.

He had argued that it was against the right of persons to be compelled to take jabs when the efficacy of the vaccines had not been determined by the FDA.

According to the legal practitioner, the vaccines used in Ghana against the virus had only been given emergency approval by the FDA, and that it poses a major public health concern.

Mr Gyamfi wanted the MoH to provide certified true copies of all reports on adverse events, including fatalities associated with the deployment of each of the six COVID-19 vaccines that had been given Emergency Use Authorisation by the Authority as recorded by the manufacturers of the vaccines. 

He also asked for certified true copies of all agreements and executed between the Government of Ghana and the manufacturers of the six Emergency Authorised COVID-19 vaccines. 

Mr Gyamfi said: “this urgent request has become imperative as a result of the new directives of the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Airport Company which have imposed a mandatory requirement of full COVID-19 vaccination and/or compulsory COVID-19 vaccination on all persons travelling into or out of Ghana, including Ghanaian citizens, effective December 14, 2021, copies of which are attached herewith.”

He said as a Ghanaian who desires to travel outside the country and back, the information would enable him to appreciate the safety of vaccines.

 “This is particularly so, given the fact that Sections 21, 22, and 25 Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) exempts persons from compulsory vaccination where the vaccines would be injurious to their health or they have natural immunity,  to the disease” Mr Gyamfi stated.

He noted that per the directives of the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Airport Company, “I will lose my constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement, which includes my right to travel into or out of Ghana, if I am not fully vaccinated with these EUA COVID-19 vaccines.”

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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