Ghana turns into first African nation to obtain COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX alliance

Ghana turns into first African nation to obtain COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX alliance

Ghana’s meals and drug authority has already authorised the usage of the Indian-made vaccines in addition to Russia’s Sputnik V.

Ghana becomes first African country to receive COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX alliance

COVID-19 vaccines which have
come from the COVAX alliance to Ghana, Picture credit score: Credit score: UNICEF/Krishnan

Ghana on Wednesday turned the primary nation to obtain vaccines from Covax, a worldwide scheme to obtain and distribute Covid inoculations without cost for poorer international locations. Launched final April, Covax stated it deliberate to ship two billion doses by 12 months’s finish. “The following section within the struggle towards this illness can start -– the ramping up of the biggest immunisation marketing campaign in historical past,” UNICEF Govt Director Henrietta Fore declared in a press release.

“Finally!” World Well being Group (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whose organisation additionally backs the Covax initiative, stated in a tweet. “A day to have fun, however it’s simply step one.”

The 600,000 doses delivered to Ghana are the Oxford/AstraZeneca method, made underneath license by the world’s largest vaccine producer, the Serum Institute of India.

They’re a part of an preliminary tranche of deliveries headed to a number of low and middle-income international locations.

An Emirates flight carrying the vaccines touched down at Accra’s Kotoka Worldwide Airport shortly after 0740 GMT, the place a authorities delegation led by the Minister for Well being Designate Kwaku Agyeman Manu acquired them, in pictures broadcast on tv.

Ghana’s meals and drug authority has already authorised the usage of the Indian-made vaccines in addition to Russia’s Sputnik V, in line with native media.

The West African nation has recorded 80,759 COVID-19 circumstances and 582 deaths because the begin of the pandemic, though the true determine is believed to be larger due to lack of testing.

Vaccinations are scheduled to start out on Tuesday in Accra, Kumasi and Obuasi.

Ghana becomes first African country to receive COVID19 vaccines from the COVAX alliance

Ghana recieve first cargo of coviax vaccines, Picture credit score: Twitter/@WHOGhana

They’ll start with well being staff and different frontline workers, adults over 60 and other people with underlying well being situations, Info Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated.

The primary who will get the vaccines additionally embody “frontline government, legislature, judiciary and their associated workers, frontline safety personnel, some spiritual leaders, important staff, lecturers and different personalities,” he stated.

The federal government stated it was making “frantic efforts” to accumulate sufficient vaccines to inoculate all of Ghana’s 30 million individuals and urged individuals to participate within the drive.

New variants

Covax, led by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Improvements (CEPI), had anticipated a primary spherical of deliveries in March with some early shipments occurring in late February.

For Ghana, it goals to ship 2,412,000 doses.

Africa has been comparatively spared by the pandemic. It was the final continent besides Oceania to achieve the edge of 100,000 deaths, which Europe crossed in April 2020.

To assist pace the immunisation of the continent’s 1.3 billion individuals, the African Union stated it had secured 270 million doses of anti-Covid vaccines for supply this 12 months.

The WHO on Monday accused rich international locations of hogging Covid vaccines and hindering the pathway for poorer nations to get them too.

The well being company stated some wealthy international locations’ direct offers with producers had meant that previously-agreed vaccine allocations for poorer international locations, through the Covax programme, have been being decreased.

Some 145 collaborating economies are set to obtain 337.2 million doses — sufficient to vaccinate a bit of over three % of their mixed populations.

Covax has stated it hopes to boost the determine to as much as 27 % in lower-income international locations by the top of December.

New variants of the virus, together with in neighbouring Nigeria, are spreading throughout the continent with the UK and South African variants recorded in circumstances in Ghana.

“It’s strongly advisable for international locations to make use of the AstraZeneca vaccine even when the… new variants are current,” the WHO stated in a press release final week.

In Ghana, colleges reopened in January after a 10-month closure, however giant social gatherings are banned and land and sea borders have remained closed since March 2020.

Financial development is predicted to have plummeted in 2020 to its lowest in three many years, to 0.9 % in line with the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF), from 6.5 % in 2019.

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