UNICEF: Ghana has become the first country to receive the COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility
On Wednesday, Ghana will receive the first shipment of Covax COVID-19 vaccines, a global scheme for the free procurement and delivery of inoculations to developing countries, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation said.
“We are pleased that Ghana has become the first country to receive the COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility,”We are pleased that Ghana has been the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility.
It said the 600,000 doses are part of an initial tranche of deliveries of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed to the Serum Institute of India, “which represents part of the first wave of COVID vaccines headed to several low and middle-income countries.”
The West African nation has recorded 80,759 COVID-19 cases and 582 deaths since the start of the pandemic. These figures are believed to fall short of the real toll as the number of tests is low.
Frontline workers in Ghana are meant to be the first to receive the vaccine.
“In the days ahead, frontline workers will begin to receive vaccines,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.
“The next phase in the fight against this disease can begin – the ramping up of the largest immunization campaign in history.”
Covax, led by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), said it would deliver two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to its members by the end of the year, including 2,412,000 doses to Ghana.
Schools in the country reopened in January after a 10-month closure, but large social gatherings are banned and land and sea borders have remained closed since March 2020.
Ghana’s economic growth is expected to plummet this year to its lowest in three decades, to 0.9 percent according to the International Monetary Fund, from 6.5 percent in 2019.
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According to the statement, Health Minister-designate Kwaku Agyeman-Manu is leading the government delegation to receive the consignment.
A brief ceremony is taking place at the airport to receive the vaccines.
Watch the arrival live: