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Arrival of coronavirus vaccines in Ghana historic – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana as a historic step towards equitable distribution of the vaccines globally.

The COVAX Facility on 23 February delivered 600 000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to Ghana, making it the first African country to receive the vaccines.

Cote d’Ivoire is expecting its first allocation on 26 February. Another 24 countries are set to receive vaccines through COVAX in the next two weeks, WHO siad in a statement.

The first round of allocations for doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to more countries and economies participating in the COVAX Facility are expected to be published in coming days in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
“The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines is an incredible, much-awaited leap forward for African countries that have spent months preparing while wealthy countries race ahead with vaccination. COVAX is a global expression of equity and it cannot be stressed enough that to end the pandemic all countries must move forward with vaccination together. No country is safe until all countries are safe,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa said in the statement.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

Following the arrival of the vaccines, information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the vaccines will be deployed to health facilities from Tuesday, March 2.

“Covid-19 vaccination will be conducted in phases among segmented populations,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi Constituency, stated.

“The first segment of the population that will receive from the 600,000 doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya West and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.

“A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered.”

He said the government remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians “and is making frantic efforts to acquire vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multilateral agencies”.

He acknowledged the “hardwork” of the technical teams of stakeholders including the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the Covid-19 Task Force.

“Our development partners are also acknowledged for their tremendous financial and technical support.

“It is our hope that they will continue to support us in our sustained efforts in combating this virus and putting Covid-19 behind us.”

 

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