Ghana takes delivery of 249,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from UK government

BY: Doreen Andoh
Ms Anne-Claire Dufay (5th left), UNICEF Country Representative in Ghana handing over the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX facility to Ms Tina Mensah (4th  right), Deputy Minister of Health during the ceremony. Looking on are Dr Joseph Whittle (3rd right), Charge De’ Affairs of the UK High Commission and Acting UK High Commissioner
Ms Anne-Claire Dufay (5th left), UNICEF Country Representative in Ghana handing over the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX facility to Ms Tina Mensah (4th right), Deputy Minister of Health during the ceremony. Looking on are Dr Joseph Whittle (3rd right), Charge De’ Affairs of the UK High Commission and Acting UK High Commissioner

Government has taken delivery of 249,600 doses of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine delivered under the COVAX facility.

The double-schedule vaccines presented by COVAX were donated by the government of the United Kingdom.

That brings to 1,765,050 the total number of vaccines that have come into the country, out of which 1,566,450 were AstraZeneca double-schedule vaccines.

Vaccines

Receiving the vaccines that came in at exactly 6:30am on board a Qatar Airline at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra on Wednesday, August 18, a Deputy Minister of Health, Ms Tina Mensah, said the vaccines had come in at a critical time in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

She said the donation was a further demonstration of the partnership between the UK government and the rest of the World, of which Ghana was part.

She expressed gratitude to the UK government, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and all partners for their continuous support to the country in the management of COVID-19 locally.

“This morning, Ghana is receiving 249,600 AstraZeneca vaccines from the UK government through the COVAX facility to continue our COVID-19 vaccination. The donation is part of the broader pledge by the UK Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson at the G7 meeting in June this year.

“The UK government will share 100 million jabs with the rest of the world, out of which 80 per cent will go through COVAX. The UK has already donated around five million vaccine doses to COVAX and three million of these doses will be sent to countries across Africa,” she said.

Ms Mensah said it was particularly heart-warming to note that the UK government had provided continuous support to the country’s health sector.

She said the donation was coming at a time that the government had dedicated a lot of resources through the efforts of the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time addressing the general health needs of the entire population.

UK support

The Charge D’ affairs of the UK High Commission and Acting High Commissioner, Dr Joseph Whittle, said it was his pleasure to hand over vaccines to Ghana on behalf of the UK government through COVAX barely six months after the country became one of the initial African countries to receive vaccines from the COVAX initiative.

He said so far COVAX had distributed over 1.3 billion doses of vaccines globally and he described that as a remarkable achievement that could have only been achieved through coordination, collaboration and cooperation.

“I want to recognise the government of Ghana’s rapid and coordinated health response to COVID-19. Ghana receiving vaccines today is a reflection of the fact that we know that these vaccines are on the runway today and in next few hours and by tomorrow, the vaccines would be dispatched to various health facilities to be deployed across the country.

“I want thank the government of Ghana, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other partners for the unbelievable support they provided to the UK during the pandemic. The collaboration and cooperation has been truly outstanding," he said.