Ghana is seeking to receive over 18 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by October as it combats the third wave of coronavirus infection, as recently stated by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Cases of coronavirus are growing rapidly in many parts of West Africa, partly due to the spread of delta variant which is more transmissible as compared to the other variants.
The rise has raised a big problem for African countries, most of which have eluded the infection levels observed in other regions. Many are hesitant to go under lockdowns due to the impact on the economy but at the same time have not been able to obtain vaccines like the richer countries.
Around 101,000 people in Ghana have been affected with the Covid-19 virus, with over 800 mortalities since the pandemic began.
In this context, Akufo-Addo demanded stringent enforcement of existing restrictions including use of masks in public.
To deal with the rising infections, the government in Ghana is in talks of purchasing 17 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the third quarter of this year via the African Medical Supplies Platform, as stated by the President. This would be accompanied by 1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the U.S., around 230,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the African Union and nearly 249,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the U.K. within the same period.
Ghana is doing comparatively better than many of its West African counterparts, with around 1.3 million doses administered. However, it has failed to keep up with its goal of acquiring 17.6 million doses by June end partly due to the halt in vaccine deliveries from India under the vaccine-sharing COVAX scheme.
In another major development, Cape Town-based pharmaceutical firm Biovac Institute has recently announced its plans to manufacture Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Africa, which is likely to begin in 2022. The production is expected to be supplied to around 54 countries in Africa, cites a reliable source.