Ghana Thursday morning took delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).
The 600,000 doses is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto.
Ghana is the first country in the world to receive COVID-19 vaccines as part of the COVAX initiative to ensure equitable access for everyone.
The vaccines arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on an Emirates Airlines cargo flight and were received by a delegation led by the Minister of Health designate, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
The COVID-19 vaccination will begin on March 2 and will be conducted in phases among segmented populations.
The first segment of the population that will receive from the doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.
A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered.
A statement from the Ministry of Information said, “the Government of Ghana remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians and is making frantic efforts to acquire adequate vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multi-lateral agencies. We urge you to do your part by ensuring that you get vaccinated when the vaccine gets to you.”
It also acknowledge the hard work of the technical teams from the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Information, the COVID-19 Task Force and all those who have assisted in getting us this far.
Our Development Partners are also acknowledged for their tremendous financial and technical support. It is our hope that they will continue to support us in our sustained efforts in combating this virus and putting COVID-19 behind us, the statement added.
A joint statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said the delivery of the vaccines to Ghana was a “momentous occasion”.
“The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end,” they said.
The WHO and Unicef said the shipment represented “part of the first wave of Covid vaccines headed to several low and middle-income countries”.
As at February 20, Ghana had recorded 81,245 cases of the Coronavirus disease, out of which 6,614 were active.
Data from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) also indicated that two more persons had died, bringing the total number of deaths to 584.
It said 95 persons were in severe condition, while 29 were critical.