Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca, have both received shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, making them the world’s first recipient of a coronavirus vaccine from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free for poorer countries.
“It is important that I set the example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it, so that everybody in Ghana can feel comfortable about taking this vaccine,” the 76-year old president said before receiving a shot of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in a live broadcast.
In his address, President Akufo-Addo said the vaccines will be deployed to the 43 districts which are the epicenters of the pandemic in Ghana. He added that through the National Vaccine Deployment Plan, the country’s population would be divided into four groups.
The first group is for people at risk and frontline state officials, including healthcare workers, frontline security personnel, persons with underlying medical conditions, elderly citizens who are 60 years and above, and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
The second group is for essential service providers and security agencies while the rest of the general public is for persons above the age of 18, except for pregnant women.
Last Wednesday, Ghana was the first country to receive vaccines from Covax, led by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Some 145 participating economies are set to receive 337.2 million doses by mid-year — enough to vaccinate a little over three percent of their combined populations.
Covax has said it hopes to raise the figure to up to 27 percent in lower-income countries by the end of December.
Ghana has recorded 84,023 Covid-19 cases and 607 deaths since the start of the pandemic last year.