Covid-19: Ghana receives First Consignment of COVAX vaccines

Covid-19: Ghana receives First Consignment of COVAX vaccines
UNICEF Rep in Ghana, Anne-Claire Dufay (L), Ghana Health Minister-designate Kwaku Agyemang Manu (M) and WHO Rep to Ghana Dr Francis Kasolo (R)

Ghana on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, received her first consignment of COVAX vaccines, becoming the first recipient country of the historic UN-backed scheme.

This arrival of the vaccine forms part of the government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

An Emirates flight carrying 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India was met by a short ceremony, as it landed in Accra.

Dignitaries who witnessed the arrival included the United States Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Stephanie S. Sullivan, British High Commissioner to Ghana H.E. Ian Walker, European Union Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Diana Acconcia, Italian Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Danielad’ Orlandi among high profile personalities.

Ghana’s case count as of February 22 stood at 80,759 confirmed cases, 73,365 recoveries, 6,812 active cases, and 582 deaths.

The newly arrived COVID-19 vaccines will be deployed to designated health facilities from March 2, 2021.

A joint statement issued by the UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Anne-Claire Dufay, and WHO Representative to Ghana, Dr. Francis Kasolo opined as below:

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 represents 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. We congratulate the Government of Ghana – especially the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and Ministry of Information - for its relentless efforts to protect the population.

As part of the UN Country Team in Ghana, UNICEF and WHO reiterate our commitment to support the vaccination campaign and contain the spread of the virus, in close cooperation with all partners, including Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Vaccines save lives. As health workers and other front-line staff are vaccinated, we will be able to gradually see a return to normalcy, including better access to health, education, and protection services. In the spirit of Universal Health Coverage, let’s leave no one behind.