350,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Ghana
Today, Ghana welcomed the arrival of 350,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility (CEPI, GAVI, UNICEF, WHO), with logistical support from UNICEF. These AstraZeneca vaccine doses, which were developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII), form part of the larger 1.7 million consignment of doses allotted earlier to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Over 1.3 million doses have been reallocated to five countries in Africa.
Ghana was selected as one of the recipients of the doses due to its rapid, efficient and coordinated response to this public health crisis, as well as its absorption capacity. The Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service have also significantly strengthened cold chain equipment and facilities over the past years, with support from GAVI and UNICEF. This has enabled the successful and safe transfer of the vaccines between the two West African countries. To assess the potency of the vaccine, UNICEF formed part of an independent committee which conducted a complete assessment of the vaccine and formally endorsed that they have been well maintained and are safe and effective for immediate use.
The initial vaccination campaign, which commenced on Monday 1st March following the vaccination of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, has enabled health workers, persons with underlying comorbidities, frontline personnel living in Greater Accra, Ashanti and parts of Central regions to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This has provided a level of protection for members of the population most at risk of contracting the virus.
UNICEF and WHO in Ghana welcome the arrival of these vaccines during these challenging times, when there is limited availability of the COVID-19 doses globally. Thanks to the collaboration between Governments, the support from the COVAX facility (CEPI, GAVI, UNICEF, WHO) and all partners, we are all seeking to ensure that the population is protected.