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THE Republic of Ghana has received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX.
Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer at AstraZeneca, revealed this in a statemen on Wednesday.
He said the delivery marks a major step forward in changing the course of the pandemic globally noting that his company was committed to making “our vaccine available to as many countries as possible and at no profit during the pandemic because no-one is safe until everyone is safe. This delivery is the first of many shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine expected over the coming weeks and months via COVAX that will take us closer to ensuring broad and equitable access.”
Also, a statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed in a series of tweets that the country received 600,000 doses of the vaccine.
Ghana🇬🇭 is among the first countries to receive #COVAX vaccines based on various factors, including a strong rollout plan & all regulatory steps in place.
The shipments represent the beginning of the largest vaccine procurement & supply operation in history. pic.twitter.com/M8oOfxgn7X
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) February 24, 2021
COVAX, which is co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and GAVI Alliance, was launched in 2020 to mobilise resources for innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
In a distribution forecast, earlier in the month, a total of 336 million doses were announced to be donated to over 120 countries.
Reacting to the news, Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO, described the development as a first step and a day to celebrate.
Today is the culmination of many months of planning, research, negotiation & coordination. But it's just the beginning. We still have a lot of work to do to realize our shared vision for #VaccinEquity by starting vaccination in all countries within the first 100 days of the year.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 24, 2021
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in Nigeria by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) last Thursday.
According to the agency, the evaluation of the vaccine showed that it is effective against the UK variant of the virus-B117- which has been found in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government had said it was expecting 58 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX and the African Union AVATT platform.
Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, said COVAX will provide Nigeria with 16 million vaccine doses in the first half of 2020 while African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) will supply over 42 million doses.
He said the country may receive the doses in 10 days’ time.