Historic COVAX Vaccine Delivery In Ghana Met With Pride — And Skepticism : Goats and Soda – NPR

Ghana is the first country to get a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the international COVAX program. Above: The vaccines are unloaded at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra on February 24.

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Nipah Dennis/AFP by means of Getty Images

Ghana is the very first nation to receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the worldwide COVAX program. Above: The vaccines are unloaded at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra on February 24.

Nipah Dennis/AFP by means of Getty Images

The shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine that Ghana got were made by the Serum Institute of India. Some Ghanaians say they would have preferred one of the vaccines authorized by the U.S. FDA instead of the AstraZeneca item.

National pride “We werent expecting to get the vaccines so soon,” states Owureku-Asare. Ghana, identified as a lower middle-income nation by the World Bank, received 600,000 dosages of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine– part of a preliminary 2.4 million dosages to be shipped by COVAX in 2021. Its one thing to have a supply of vaccines; its another to administer them.

On February 24, her homeland, Ghana, ended up being the very first low-resource country to receive complimentary COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX. Shes not the only one encouraged by the delivery from COVAX, an initiative set up in partnership with the World Health Organization to guarantee equitable access to the vaccine, especially in low earnings countries. “This is a historic step towards our goal to make sure fair circulation of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history” is how WHO phrased it in a declaration.

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The shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine that Ghana received were made by the Serum Institute of India. Some Ghanaians state they would have preferred among the vaccines approved by the U.S. FDA rather than the AstraZeneca item.

Rahmat Gul/AP

Airport workers carry the 600,000 donated vaccines in Ghana. The president is getting a dosage– therefore are health workers.

” We are talking measles, chickenpox, rubella, whooping cough, tetanus. And we do that through a freezer and cold chain facilities that has more than the years end up being really specialized. So in regards to actual storage and distribution, particularly for the kind of vaccine were getting from AstraZeneca, that fits perfectly into that entire chain.” George Mwinnyaa, a research fellow at Johns Hopkins National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases who grew up in Ghana, says that remarkable success rate is a little misleading. Yes, the government may be able to get the COVID vaccine vials from point A to point B as it makes with other vaccines, states Mwinnyaa. He says that lots of people dont rather trust it.

Including fuel to the rumor, says Mwinnyaa, is the brand name of vaccine COVAX gave to Ghana: AstraZeneca. Like numerous countries– consisting of the U.S.– Ghana requires to educate the public about vaccines, states Mwinnyaa: “Without strong public education these vaccines will be ineffective since the myths run deep. COVAX offered Ghana 600,000 vaccines.

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Airport workers carry the 600,000 donated vaccines in Ghana. The president is getting a dosage– and so are health employees.

Nipah Dennis/AFP by means of Getty Images

Inoculations started in Ghana today. Above: a health employee and an empty vial at Ridge Hospital in Accra on March 2.

And even if Ghana is able to get the next dosage in time for the first 600,000 vaccine receivers, there are still 30 million Ghanaians. The government has said it prepares to immunize 20 million individuals by the end of October, according to Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, senior public health professional at the Ghana Health Service. Thats 2.5 billion people who were shut out of the international vaccine project.

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Inoculations began in Ghana today. Above: a health employee and an empty vial at Ridge Hospital in Accra on March 2.

Nipah Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

“This is a historic step toward our goal to guarantee fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines internationally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history” is how WHO phrased it in a declaration. Ghana, identified as a lower middle-income country by the World Bank, got 600,000 dosages of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine– part of a preliminary 2.4 million doses to be delivered by COVAX in 2021. Yes, the federal government might be able to get the COVID vaccine vials from point A to point B as it does with other vaccines, says Mwinnyaa. Adding fuel to the rumor, says Mwinnyaa, is the brand of vaccine COVAX provided to Ghana: AstraZeneca. Like lots of countries– including the U.S.– Ghana needs to inform the public about vaccines, says Mwinnyaa: “Without strong public education these vaccines will be worthless since the misconceptions run deep.

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