After weeks of apprehension over the fate of Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, the exercise looks set to resume soon after 350,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines landed in Accra on Friday morning.
It arrived around 5am, May 7, aboard a Turkish Airline fight to kick-start the second phase of the nationwide vaccination.
Fears that the programme could be held back heightened when the second batch of doses from the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) facility, expected from India, were not forthcoming.
This sent tongues wagging and kept citizens who received the first jab more than two months ago in a quandary.
The 350,000 doses of vaccines are an addition to the 600,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine received on February 24, this year.
Already, Ghana has inoculated about 850,000
Some countries under the COVAX facility have not been able to utilise all their allocation and the platform has decided to re-allocate them to countries which have been able to utilise all their first allocation and more vaccines are needed for the second doses and for those who have not even had their first dose.
The consignment, which was initially allocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was shipped into Ghana after the DRC failed to utilise them weeks after it arrived in that country.
It was received at the Kotoka International Airport by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari on the tarmac of the airport.
Mr Oku-Afari told Graphic Online in an interview that the arrival of the vaccines was a “big relief” for Ghana and a timely intervention in the country’s fight against COVID- 19.
“Even if you have the money to buy, it is not easy these days to get them so this is very timely and a big relief for the country,” he said.
He said the Ghana Health Service will kick-start the second phase of the vaccination soon.