Ghana receives world’s first doses of free COVAX vaccines

Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo

Ghana has become the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

A joint statement issued by UNICEF Ghana and WHO Ghana on Wednesday made this known.

The shipment, consisting of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines, arrived at 7 am on Wednesday on an Emirates flight at Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

Minister for Health-designate Kwaku Agyeman-Manu led a government delegation to receive the consignment.

According to the joint statement, the vaccines were produced by the Serum Institute of India, in the Indian city of Pune, and are part of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines headed to low and middle-income countries.

“Today marks the historic moment for which we have been planning and working so hard,” said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore.

“With the first shipment of doses, we can make good on the promise of the COVAX Facility to ensure people from less wealthy countries are not left behind in the race for life-saving vaccines.”

The information ministry in a statement said the vaccines will be first administered to health workers, people over 60, and those with underlying health conditions.

The country also plans to secure additional vaccines through external agencies.

Ghana has reported at least 80,759 cases of Covid-19 and 582 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.