The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that Ghana is among 145 earmarked countries to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from a number of supplies through the COVAX facility.

According to its February 3, 2021 statement, “delivery is estimated to begin as of late February, subject to WHO EUL, manufacturing supply capacity and completion of pre-requisites”.

This will be the first batch of distribution to be done by WHO. it reveals that “this indicative distribution is intended to provide interim guidance to Facility participants – offering a planning scenario to enable preparations for the final allocation of the number of doses each participant will receive in the first rounds of vaccine distribution”.

The World Health Organization EUL says it has not yet granted the AstraZeneca vaccine “although evaluation processes are currently underway. Pending these final decisions, and based on current estimates of supply, the COVAX Facility has provided an indicative distribution for each Facility participant”.

The statement adds that “the final allocation of the AstraZeneca vaccine(s) will be undertaken following process and governance outlined to and agreed upon by all Facility participants, and will be subject to the validation of the Independent Allocation of Vaccine Group (IAVG).

“It is important to underscore that the indicative distribution is based on current communication of estimated availability from manufacturers. In this regard, it is likely the distribution may need to be adjusted in light of circumstances that are difficult to anticipate and variables that are constantly evolving”.

Regarding the Pfizer-Biontech Vaccine, the Organization says it expects 1.2 doses of the vaccine to be available to the COVAX facility in 2012 “subject to the completion of additional agreements, and will be complemented by the larger volumes of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine available to the Facility during the same time period. Additional volumes of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be available in the second quarter and beyond, per the signed advance purchase agreement between Gavi and Pfizer-BioNTech for up to 40 million doses”.

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“As a result, an exceptional process of distribution was undertaken to ensure maximum public health benefit from the smaller volume of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine anticipated to be available for… delivery. All future allocation rounds will follow the standard Facility approach”, the statement adds.

WHO indicated that this move in line with its target of reaching at least 3% of the population in all countries in the first half of 2021 to protect the most vulnerable groups.

“This is in line with the facility’s target to reach at least 3% population coverage in all countries in the first half of the year, enough to protect the most vulnerable groups such as healthcare workers”.

President Akufo-Addo announced on Sunday, January 31 2021 that plans were far advanced to secure the COVID-19 vaccines for the country and added that Ghana is expected to receive its first consignment of the vaccines in March 2021.

“We are hopeful that, by the end of June, a total of 17.6 million vaccine doses would have been procured for the Ghanaian people,” the president said.

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