There is some rare ray of hope in Ghana’s fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Since President Akufo-Addo’s announcement of steps to secure a vaccine, the first substantial progress in securing the products have been made public.
President Akufo-Addo had, in his Sunday night update on the nation’s measures regarding the pandemic, indicated that the country is expected to receive its first consignment of the vaccines in March 2021.
“..we are hopeful that, by the end of June, a total of 17.6 million vaccine doses would have been procured for the Ghanaian people,” he said January 31, 2021.
However, the latest update on the UN-led COVAX Facility, of which Ghana is a participant has revealed that the country is earmarked to take delivery of 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which is licensed to the Serum Institute of India (AZ/SII).
Ghana is among 145 counties listed to receive vaccines from a number of suppliers through the COVAX Facility according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Per Wednesday’s announcement, “… delivery is estimated to begin as of late February, subject to WHO EUL, manufacturing supply capacity and completion of pre-requisites…”
According to the facility’s interim distribution document on February 3, 2021, the vaccine is expected to be administered to persons in key sectors such as health workers in the first quarter.
“This is in line with the facility’s target to reach at least 3% population coverage in all countries in the first half of the year, enough to protect the most vulnerable groups such as healthcare workers,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, a Pharmacist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), has proposed that Ghana diversifies its sources for Covid-19 vaccine procurement.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express Tuesday, Dr Kwame Asiedu Sarpong is of the view that channeling all efforts in one direction may not do the country any good, hence the need to exploit all possible routes.
“We should diversify our route, so we can go in for the Russian vaccines that haven’t bilateral negotiations, similar with the UK, call in for AstraZeneca, we can go in for Novavax and go in for Covax as well.”