Ghana receives 250k AstraZeneca doses from COVAX programme

Ghana has taken delivery of 249,600 AstraZeneca vaccine doses donated by the government of the United Kingdom.

The doses were received on behalf of the country the morning of Wednesday, August 18,  by officials of the Ministry of Health as well as UNICEF Ghana. The donation is part of the COVAX programme, a United Nations-driven initiative to secure vaccines in a competitive global space for lower and middle-income countries.

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) had announced on August 13 that 11 African countries stood to benefit from the three million doses the UK intended to contribute to COVAX. Ghana was on the list of counties that also included Zambia, Senegal and Egypt.

UNICEF Ghana tweeted on Wednesday morning, saying  “249,600 doses of AstraZeneca #COVID19 vaccines arrived this morning through the #COVAX facility. The vaccines, donated by the UK Gov’t will support the ongoing vaccination campaign [in Ghana]”.

Ghana was the first country worldwide to benefit from the COVAX programme after receiving 250,000 AstraZeneca doses in March and another 350,000 in May. Both deliveries were two parts of a promised 600,000-dose delivery by COVAX.

Wednesday morning’s delivery brings to about 850,000 AstraZeneca doses received by the government of Ghana.

Ghana’s vaccination efforts have been at the mercy of manufacturer’s problems as well as internal scandals such as the Ministry of Health’s botched attempt to buy 300,000 doses of Russian Sputnik V vaccines through an intermediary. However, President Nana Akufo-Addo is confident Ghana will attain herd immunity this year.

Speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony for a new hospital to be built at Trede in the Ashanti Region, President Akufo-Addo said approximately 20 million of Ghana’s population had been targeted for vaccination within the shortest possible time.

Ghana has administered some 1.27 million doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, according to the Ghana Health Service (GHS). Overall, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country had reached 109,736 as of August 12, 2021.

Meanwhile, the country is administering more than 170,000 Johnson&Johnson vaccines received through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT). The doses are part of a total of 6.4 million vaccine doses to be shipped to African Union Member States in August 2021.
The one-shot Johnson&Johnson doses are being given to residents of Accra and Kumasi metropolitan areas between August 16 and August 20. Encouraging turnouts have been recorded in the dozens of vaccination centres.


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