Ghana is first to receive vaccines under COVAX
Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with the delivery on Wednesday of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.
The vaccines, delivered by UNICEF, arrived at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport early Wednesday and are part of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX is sending to several low- and middle-income countries. Ghana is among 92 countries that have signed onto the COVAX program, according to a statement by Ghana’s acting Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
The west African nation of 30 million has recorded 81,245 cases and 584 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to figures from Ghana’s Health Services.
Ghana’s vaccination campaign will begin on March 2 and will be conducted in phases among prioritized groups, beginning with health workers, adults of 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, front-line executive, legislature, judiciary, and their related staff, said Nkrumah.
“The government of Ghana remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians and is making frantic efforts to acquire adequate vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multi-lateral agencies,” he said.
In a joint statement, the country representatives of UNICEF and WHO described the arrival of the COVAX vaccines as a “momentous occasion” critical to bringing the pandemic to an end. The COVAX shipment to Ghana is the start of what will be the world’s largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. COVAX plans to deliver close to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines around the world this year.