The president and the first lady received the AstraZeneca injections, a day before the rest of the 600,000 doses were rolled out across the country.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has become the world’s first recipient of a coronavirus vaccine from COVAX, a global program to obtain and distribute vaccines free of charge to the poorest countries.
Rich countries have taken a leap forward in vaccinating their populations, while many poorer countries are still waiting for their first doses of the vaccine.
“It is important that I set an example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it so that everyone in Ghana can feel comfortable taking this vaccine,” said the 76-year-old president. before receiving an injection of Oxford-AstraZeneca. vaccine in a live broadcast.
First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo also received an injection, a day before the rest of the 600,000 doses were rolled out across the country.
Ghana’s Food and Medicines Authority cleared the Indian-made vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V last month, as the government aims to target 20 of its 30 million people by the end of the year. ‘year.
Last Wednesday, Ghana was the first country to to receive COVAX vaccines, led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI).
Some 145 participating economies are expected to receive 337.2 million doses by the middle of the year – enough to immunize just over 3 percent of their combined populations.
COVAX said it hopes to increase that figure to 27% in low-income countries by the end of December.
Ghana launches vaccinations
Ghana has recorded 84,023 cases of COVID-19 and 607 deaths since the start of the pandemic, although the actual figure appears to be higher due to limited testing.
Schools reopened in January after a 10-month closure, but large social gatherings are prohibited and land and sea borders have remained closed since March 2020.
Despite the vaccine rolling out, the president said all current restrictions to curb the spread of the virus must remain in place.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire, people started lining up early Monday as the country prepared to become the first to launch a COVID vaccination campaign with doses of COVAX.
Ivory Coast has received 504,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday and plans to roll it out to medical staff, security forces and teachers before vaccinating people over 50, people with chronic illnesses and travelers.
More than 100 people lined up early Monday at a sports complex in the Treichville district of Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, Abidjan, to receive their first photo.