Ghana, through the Covax vaccine-sharing initiative, has become the first country to receive coronavirus vaccines.
The program of the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to ensure the fair sharing of vaccines among all nations.
By the end of the year, Covax aims to deliver around two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines globally.
Many wealthy nations, which started vaccinating themselves months ago, have faced criticism for buying or ordering more vaccines than they need.
On Wednesday, in Ghana’s capital, Accra, a total of 600,000 doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and produced by the Serum Institute of India arrived.
With prioritized groups such as health workers, people over 60, individuals with underlying health conditions, and senior officials, vaccinations are expected to begin there next week.
The WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said in a joint statement that it was a momentous opportunity and “critical in bringing the pandemic to an end”
The scheme to share with other countries unused vaccines
The slow deployment of Covid vaccines in Africa
The cost of not having the dead counted
With a population of 30 million, the West African country has recorded more than 80,700 coronavirus cases and 580 deaths since the pandemic began. Due to low levels of testing, these numbers are believed to fall short of the actual toll.
Although vaccines are not generally intended for children, because of its expertise in procurement and the logistics of vaccine delivery, Unicef is involved in the scheme.
It told the BBC that Ghana was one of the countries selected “as it met the conditions precedent for receiving the vaccine” to receive the first batch of vaccine doses.