COVAX delivers its first vaccine shots with shipment to Ghana

Pablo Tucker
February 27, 2021

"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". The initiative known as COVAX was formed by the World Health Organization, the vaccines alliance GAVI and a coalition for epidemic innovations called CEPI.

It is not a matter of money, it is a matter of whether there are enough doses of vaccines for COVAX to buy for developing or less-developed countries.

"We continue to work with countries to support them on safe vaccination administration".

Some 40 countries have so far authorized Sputnik V, which a peer-reviewed Russian study said earlier this month is 91.6% effective against Covid-19.

And it is setting a good example by providing vaccines to as many countries as it can.

"COVAX began the global COVID vaccine delivery by supplying 600,000 doses of made in India Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine to Ghana on 24 February 2021", India's High Commission in Colombo said.

Beyond the moral duty of sharing vaccines broadly, scientists have warned that that allowing the coronavirus to spread freely in any population is a global risk because that could lead to risky new variants that could then spread - even in people who had already had the virus or who had been vaccinated against it.

The minister's comments come on the same day that Ghana became the first country to receive vaccines from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute Covid inoculations for free for poorer countries.

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.

It is not that China has manufactured vaccines that are more than enough for its own use.

"Serum Institute of India is delighted to partner with AstraZeneca in bringing this vaccine to India as well as low-and-middle-income countries".

"Unless we end the pandemic everywhere, we will not end it anywhere".

He said the government remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians "and is making frantic efforts to acquire vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multilateral agencies".

Airport staff offload the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines distributed by the COVAX facility in Ghana.

Although the Group of Seven, a club of major economic powers, promised to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and pledged $7.5 billion for COVAX, there have been few details from countries including Britain, Germany and France about when they would be willing to donate any of their excess shots.

"Over the coming weeks, Covax must deliver vaccines to all participating economies to ensure that those most at risk are protected, wherever they live", said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi.

The plan should provide coverage for up to 20% of countries' populations.

Other rich countries, such as Canada, New Zealand and Singapore, have applied to receive vaccines through COVAX even though they have their own supplies. Nigerian officials had said the country expects the four million doses before the end of February.

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