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Ghana receives first vaccines under United Nations COVAX programme

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Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2021. 10:12 am CST.

By BBN Staff: This week the West African nation Ghana, became the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines under the United Nation’s (UN’s) vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX.

The BBC reports that the first shipment of 600,000 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, arrived in Ghana today and is expected to be rolled out as early as next week to priority groups including healthcare workers, senior citizens, and those over 60 with pre-existing conditions.

Following the shipment, the WHO and the United Nations children’s fund (Unicef) issued a joint statement saying that it was a momentous occasion and “critical in bringing the pandemic to an end.”

The COVAX initiative was coined by the WHO in an effort to ensure that vaccines are distributed equitably around the world. The initiative accompanies criticisms that the United States and some European Countries bought more vaccines than they needed, decreasing availability for other countries.

The BBC notes that while the vaccines are not generally intended for children, Unicef assisted because of its expertise in procurement and the logistics of vaccine delivery. Ghana, which has a population of 30 million, has recorded more than 80,700 cases of COVID-19 and 580 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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