Ghana has become the first recipient of COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed by COVAX, a global vaccine sharing initiative.

Ghana took delivery of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

Key government and health officials as well as diplomats were at the Kotoka International Airport to receive the vaccines.

A plane carrying 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine landed in Accra, just before 8 am on Wednesday.

“After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 80,700 Ghanaians getting infected with the virus and over 580 lost lives, the path to recovery for the people of Ghana can finally begin,” UNICEF said in a statement to mark the occasion.

“This is a momentous occasion, as the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end. The only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccinations are available for all.”

UNICEF expects this arrival to be part of the “largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.”

The COVAX Facility plans to deliver close to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year.

“This is an unprecedented global effort to make sure all citizens have access to vaccines,” UNICEF noted.

The newly arrived vaccines will be deployed to designated health facilities from March 2.

The areas earmarked for the initial vaccine rollout are the Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.

A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered, according to a statement from the Information Ministry.

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