A shipment of 249,000 UK-donated AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines has today (Wednesday 18 August) arrived in Accra. These vital vaccines will be deployed across Ghana, reaching those most in need.
The vaccines were met at Kotoka International Airport by senior officials from the British High Commission to Ghana including Chargé d’affaires Dr. Joseph Whittle and the UK Health Adviser to Ghana Uzoamaka Gilpin. Honourable Deputy Minister Tina Mensah and representatives from Ghana’s Ministry of Health also attended the arrival alongside UNICEF Representative in Ghana Anne-Claire Dufay.
Today’s shipment is part of a broader pledge made by the UK Prime Minister Boris at the G7 meeting in June. The UK will share 100 million jabs with the rest of the world, of which 80% will be through COVAX. The UK has already donated around 5 million vaccine doses to COVAX and 3 million of these doses will be sent to countries across Africa. Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Ethiopia are among the countries to already receive vaccines.
Speaking at Kotoka International Airport, the Chargé d’affaires for the British High Commission to Ghana Dr. Joseph Whittle, said:
“Today’s shipment signals another step forward in Ghana’s vaccine programme. It means 249,000 front-line health workers, vulnerable people most at risk from COVID-19, and those in need of their vital second jab have access to vaccinations and better protection against COVID-19 variants.
Our shared commitment to overcome COVID-19 has only strengthened the UK-Ghana partnership, and this is reflected by the fact that Ghana is one of the first countries in the world receiving UK-donated vaccines.”
The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19, including through investing £90 million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. More than half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower and middle-income countries.
The UK kick-started efforts to establish COVAX in 2020, providing a total of £548 million to fund vaccines for lower-income countries. The scheme has delivered more than 152 million vaccine doses to over 137 countries and territories, including in 83 lower-middle income countries. 65% of the initial vaccine doses have been Oxford-AstraZeneca. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to lower-income countries around the world by early 2022.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
“Three million doses of UK-donated vaccines are now arriving in 11 countries across Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, to help the fight against COVID-19.
This is the first batch of 80 million being donated via COVAX – because we know no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
The UK continues to support Ghana’s COVID-19 response: putting UK experts at the heart of Ghana’s Health Service and the Ministry of health, supporting the Ministry of Health to expand quality COVID-19 treatment and testing in 40 underserved districts whilst ensuring continuation of essential health services for women and children.
Written By: Jessica Vickerage