By Tara Rippin • 24 February 2021 • 14:12
‘Momentous occasion’ says WHO as Covid vaccines arrive in Accra, the first country in Africa to receive doses shipped by the COVAX factory.
“THE arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine into Ghana is a momentous occasion and critical in bringing the pandemic to an end,” said WHO this morning, .
“This is a historic step towards our goal to ensure equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
“The delivery is part of a first wave of arrivals that will continue in the coming days and weeks.”
Yesterday, COVAX shipped 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/ Oxford vaccine, from the Serum Institute of India (SII) from Pune, India to Accra, Ghana, arriving early this morning.
The arrival in Accra is the first batch to be delivered as part of “an unprecedented effort to deliver at least two billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021”.
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others.
Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI said: “This is a landmark moment in our efforts to get life-saving vaccine to the world. The fact that we now have multiple safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 developed in record time is testament to the scientific community and industry rising to the challenge of this pandemic.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, added: “We will not end the pandemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere. Today is a major first step towards realising our shared vision of vaccine equity, but it’s just the beginning.
“We still have a lot of work to do with governments and manufacturers to ensure that vaccination of health workers and older people is underway in all countries within the first 100 days of this year.”
The vaccines arrived on a flight from Mumbai, via Dubai, where the flight also collected a shipment of syringes from a Gavi-funded stockpile at UNICEF’s regional Supply Hub.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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