"The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines is an incredible, much-awaited leap forward for African countries that have spent months preparing while wealthy countries race ahead with vaccination".
Ghana is among 92 countries that will receive vaccines for free through the initiative, which is led by the WHO; Gavi, a vaccine group; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. We have a moral duty to make sure that no country is left behind in the fight against Covid-19.
"I was very excited and quite happy that one of the developing countries was also getting involved with vaccines", said Winnipegger Frank Indome, a board member of African Communities of Manitoba Inc. From the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, the United Kingdom had worked to support the people and Government of Ghana to respond to the pandemic, the statement said.
He said the 600,000 doses of the vaccine, which arrived in Accra on February 24, had undergone rigorous clinical trials and had been authorised for use by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) of Ghana. But as the watershed delivery was celebrated in Ghana, there was more bad news for Brussels over its scramble to secure coronavirus vaccines for the European Union.
The COVAX Facility on 23 February delivered 600 000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to Ghana, making it the first African country to receive the vaccines.
On Feb. 19, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), which was set up by the AU with the aim to immunise 60 per cent of the continental population, said that Russian Federation had offered 300 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine to the AU.
There aren't enough vaccines.
They are part of an initial tranche of deliveries headed to several low and middle-income countries.
That reportedly compares to $3 per dose for the 100 million AstraZeneca vaccines that the AU previously said it had secured.
The initiative has received billions of dollars in funding, but WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed out this week that money is nearly meaningless if there are no vaccines to buy.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, which requires two doses, is pending approval from Health Canada. The AstraZeneca doses make up the bulk of the shots COVAX has deals for and was only authorized last week.
On Wednesday, Nigeria's health minister admitted that the country may have to wait till March to receive its first doses of the vaccines. But the lack of detail now is worrying, and some experts say countries will be unlikely to donate any shots until they know how long immunity lasts, and against which variants.
Although the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrial countries said their countries have committed a collective $7.5 billion to COVAX, the World Health Organization head said "even if you have the money, if you can not use the money to buy vaccines, having the money does not mean anything". The overall campaign thus far has been extremely uneven: 80 per cent of the 210 million doses administered worldwide thus far were given in just 10 countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week.