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Ghana has received 98,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Norway through the COVAX facility.
This is the third batch of AstraZeneca vaccines received by the country under the COVAX facility.
The COVAX facility is a global initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccines Alliance and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
Ghana in February this year became the first country to receive vaccines under this facility by receiving 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In May 2021, the country received the second batch of 350,000 doses and now the arrival of the 98,400 doses being the third batch.
Bolster vaccination exercise
Receiving the vaccines at the Kotoka International Airport, the Country President for AstraZeneca Africa, Barbara Nel, said the donation of the 98,400 doses of the vaccine would help bolster Ghana’s vaccination programme.
“Today’s arrival demonstrates the value of governments, industry and others working together to address our continent’s urgent needs to access vaccines.
“We will continue to advocate equitable vaccine distribution and for more vaccine to get to Africa this year and in 2022. In this regard, AstraZeneca’s commitment to Africa remains steadfast,” she stated.
She said AstraZeneca was the first global pharmaceutical company to join COVAX in June 2020, and had so far delivered more than 113 million doses of the company’s vaccine through COVAX.
“We are committed to supplying the vaccine broadly and equitably around the world at no profit during the pandemic period. To date, more than one billion doses of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccines have been released for supply to over 170 countries around the world, and approximately two thirds have gone to low and lower-middle-income countries,” she noted.
She said since early 2021, the vaccine had helped in preventing hundreds of thousands of hospitalisations and also saved tens of thousands of lives.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech.
It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.
After vaccination the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.