Ghana has become the recipient of its historic first shipment of the COVAX vaccines, UNICEF says.
COVAX is one of 3 pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April by the World Health Organisation, the European Commission and France in response to the novel Covid-19 Pandemic
The consortium brought together governments, global health organizations, manufacturers, scientists, the private sector, civil society, and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. The COVAX pillar is focused on the latter.
“It is the only truly global solution to this pandemic because it is the only effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth,” the stakeholders said.
The news about the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccines in Accra is contained in a statement jointly issued by UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Anne-Claire Dufay; and WHO Representative to Ghana, Dr. Francis Kasolo.
It stated, “After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 80,700 Ghanaians getting infected with the virus and over 580 lost lives, the path to
recovery for the people of Ghana can finally begin.
“This is a momentous occasion, as the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end. The only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccinations are available for all. We thank all partners that are supporting the COVAX Facility to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to all countries quickly and fairly.
“These 600,000 COVAX vaccines are part of an initial tranche of deliveries of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed to the Serum Institute of India, which represent part of the first wave of COVID vaccines headed to several low and middle-income countries.
“The shipments also represent the beginning of what should be the largest vaccine
procurement and supply operation in history. The COVAX Facility plans to deliver close to two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year. This is an unprecedented global effort to make sure all citizens have access to vaccines.
“We are pleased that Ghana has become the first country to receive the COVID-19 vaccines
from the COVAX Facility.
“We congratulate the Government of Ghana – especially the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and Ministry of Information – for its relentless efforts to protect the population.
“As part of the UN Country Team in Ghana, UNICEF and WHO reiterate our commitment to support the vaccination campaign and contain the spread of the virus, in close cooperation with all partners, including Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
“Vaccines save lives. As health workers and other front-line staff are vaccinated, we will be able to gradually see a return to normalcy, including better access to health, education and
“In the spirit of Universal Health Coverage, let’s leave no one behind.”