Ghana on Wednesday announced the arrival of the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free, as the world races to contain the pandemic.
This was disclosed by World Health Organisation (WHO) Accra, Ghana via its Twitter handle.COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and others.
Covax, launched last April to help ensure a fairer distribution of coronavirus vaccines between rich and poor nations, said it would deliver two billion doses to its members by the end of the year.
In a joint statement issued by UNICEF and WHO, it stated, “After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 80,700 Ghanaians getting infected with the virus and over 580 lost lives, the path to recovery for the people of Ghana can finally begin.
“This is a momentous occasion, as the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end. The only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccinations are available for all. We thank all partners that are supporting the COVAX Facility to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to all countries quickly and fairly.
“These 600,000 COVAX vaccines are part of an initial tranche of deliveries of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine licensed to the Serum Institute of India, which represent part of the first wave of COVID vaccines headed to several low and middle-income countries.
“The shipments also represent the beginning of what should be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. The COVAX Facility plans to deliver close to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year. This is an unprecedented global effort to make sure all citizens have access to vaccines.
“We are pleased that Ghana has become the first country to receive the COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility.
The Emirates flight carrying the vaccines touched down at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport shortly after 0740 GMT, in images broadcast on television.”
According to a plan presented by Ghanaian health officials on Friday, the shots will be used to kick-start a vaccination drive that will prioritise front-line healthcare workers and others at high-risk.