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Ghana Receives World’s First Doses Of Free Covax Vaccines

Ghana on Wednesday turned the primary nation to obtain vaccines from Covax, a worldwide scheme to obtain and distribute Covid inoculations totally free for poorer nations.

Launched final April, Covax stated it deliberate to ship two billion doses by 12 months’s finish.

“The next phase in the fight against this disease can begin -– the ramping up of the largest immunisation campaign in history,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore declared in a press release.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigeria Records Less Than 700 Cases For Four Consecutive Days

“At last!” World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whose organisation additionally backs the Covax initiative, stated in a tweet.

“A day to celebrate, but it’s just the first step.”

This {photograph} taken on February 24, 2021, exhibits a Covax tag on a cargo of Covid-19 vaccines from the Covax international Covid-19 vaccination programme, on the Kotoka International Airport in Accra. PHOTO: NIPAH DENNIS / AFP

 

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

They are a part of an preliminary tranche of deliveries headed to a number of low and middle-income nations.

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

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

The West African nation has recorded 80,759 Covid-19 instances and 582 deaths for the reason that begin of the pandemic, though the true determine is believed to be larger due to lack of testing.

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

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

The first who will get the vaccines additionally embody “frontline executive, legislature, judiciary, and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers, and other personalities,” he stated.

The authorities 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 Innovations (CEPI), had anticipated the 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 velocity 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 nations of hogging Covid vaccines and hindering the pathway for poorer nations to get them too.

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

Some 145 collaborating economies are set to obtain 337.2 million doses — sufficient to vaccinate somewhat over three per cent of their mixed populations.

Covax has stated it hopes to boost the determine to as much as 27 per cent in lower-income nations 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 instances in Ghana.

“It is strongly recommended for countries to use the AstraZeneca vaccine even if the… new variants are present,” the WHO stated in a press release final week.

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

Economic development is predicted to have plummeted in 2020 to its lowest in three many years, to 0.9 per cent in accordance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), from 6.5 per cent in 2019.

AFP

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