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US to give Ghana 1.3 million doses of Pfizer vaccine

Ghana will receive 1.3 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the United States, that country’s vice-president, Kamala Harris, has assured President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The donation is in addition to an earlier batch of 1.2 million Moderna doses received by Ghana on September 4 from the United States.

Vice-President Harris made the assurance on Thursday, September 23 when she held bilateral talks with President Akufo-Addo at the White House.

Addressing a press conference, prior to the holding of a closed-door meeting between the pair and their delegations, Vice-President Harris indicated Ghana and the United States share a commitment to global health and to minimise the effects of COVID-19.

The first American vice-president of Black descent explained that her country was interested in a global concerted effort, adding that “none of us has been immune from the ravages of the pandemic. We recognize our shared responsibility to collaborate, to share resources, to not only continue to address the effects of COVID-19 but also to prepare for the next pandemics”.

“The United States is proud to be a member of COVAX and the African Union and has donated more than 1.2 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Ghana. I am proud to announce that, shortly, we will send 1.3 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine,” Harris added.

President Akufo-Addo, on his part, was grateful for the invitation to the White House and stressed that Ghana and the US share values that tie the countries together, including a yearning for human rights.

“We want to develop our nation as a democracy as a country where freedom and respect for human rights and the rule of law are paramount to our system of governance,” he said.

While expressing gratitude for the support of the United States towards helping to defeat the pandemic in Ghana, he indicated that the “other main preoccupation for us is the co-operation that we have to put together to defeat the Jihadist insurgency in the Sahel.”

President Akufo-Addo said Ghana is “looking for support for our armed forces and for the intelligence agencies of our area that they can be in stronger positions. Many of those leading the Jihadist insurrections in West Africa are the people who came from Iraq after they were driven out from Iraq, so I think if there’s information here that can assist us to be able to track down and be able to deal with these people”.

About Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccination programme

The government of Ghana has stated its intention of vaccinating 20 million Ghanaians by the end of 2021.

The country’s vaccination efforts are propelled by vaccine donations from development partners, securing doses through the UN’s COVAX facility as well as purchases on the international market.

So far, more than 4 million vaccines have been secured by Ghana, as walk-in vaccinations at many health centres across the country continue.

However, the Multilateral Leaders Taskforce (MLT) on COVID-19 has raised alarm over vaccine inequity between developed and developing countries, noting that many African countries cannot meet herd immunity timelines by the close of the year.

The Taskforce has observed that there are two troubling trends regarding the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, with low-income countries dealing with acute shortage, making them unable to meet the targeted 40% coverage by the end of the year.

On the other hand, many high-income countries have been able to access vaccines and vaccinated their population against the pandemic, putting them in a position to reach the global target coverage.

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