Ghana on Friday morning, May 7, 2021, received 350,000 doses of the AstraZenecca COVID-19 vaccines from the Democratic Republic of Congo, to kick-start the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The consignment falls under the COVAX Facility, which 92 low to middle income countries are benefiting free of charge.
DR Congo received 1.7 million of the vaccines early this year, but managed to use only 400,000 and so the 1.3 million leftover was shared among five countries, which Ghana is a beneficiary.
Ghana was the first country in Africa to receive 650,000 doses of the AstraZenecca vaccines under the COVAX Facility on February 24, this year and subsequently started her mass inoculation programme on March 2, this year.
The vaccination programme started in 43 districts earmarked as epicentres of the infectious in Ghana, with persons having underlying health conditions, frontline health workers, members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, and some media practitioners taking their first jab.
President Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and his wife, Samira, ministers of state and Members of Parliament, publicly took jabs of the vaccine during the first phase, to court public confidence in the vaccine
According to sources at UNICEF, 1.7 million doses of the AstraZenecca vaccine were sent to DR Congo for vaccination early this year, but used only 400,000 of them.
Therefore, the remaining 1.3 million were shared among five countries, which Ghana is a beneficiary.
The doses received from DR Congo will expire on June 24, if not used.
Mr Kwabena Boadu Afari, the Chief Director, Ghana Health Service, told the media at the Kotoka International Airport on arrival of the vaccines that, there was a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines on the global market.
He cited India, which produced the AstraZenecca vaccines was experiencing third wave of the Coronavirus disease and had stopped exporting the vaccines to other countries, hence the shortage.
He said those who received the first dose during the first phase of the mass vaccination programme could now go for the second jab.