As part of the effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing cases to the barest minimum, African countries, just like others, have begun to receive supplies of COVAX jabs into their country.
There were speculations on the difficulty of African countries to secure doses after announcements of a vaccine came into limelight.
According to an internal report by a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to coordinate vaccine roll-out, it said some African countries may not receive enough covid-19 vaccine doses to reach herd immunity for years to come.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinations are not likely to begin in Africa until mid-2021 adding that it could take years to secure the doses needed to immunise 60 per cent of the continent’s 1.3 billion people, the threshold at which herd immunity may be achieved.
However, three African countries – Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria, have secured doses of the COVAX.
COVAX, led by the vaccine alliance Gavi, and the World Health Organization (WHO), with UNICEF as an implementing partner, aims to deliver nearly 2 billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021.
Ghana 600,000 doses
Ghana became the first African country to receive COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility as some 600,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca doses arrived in the capital Accra on February 24th.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo also became the first to receive a coronavirus vaccine through the scheme.
Mr Akufo-Addo urged people to get vaccinated and not to believe conspiracy theories casting doubt on the programme, which will see some 600,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine rolled out nationwide on Tuesday.
“It’s 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,” he said.
Ghana has a population over 30.42 million people with over 84,000 cases confirmed.
Ivory’s Coast 504,000 doses
February 26, Ivory Coast became the second country to receive 504,000 COVID-19 vaccines.
The doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India arrived in the commercial capital Abidjan.
Ivory Coast “is pleased and proud to be the second African country after Ghana to receive vaccines provided through the COVAX facility. This is an important step in our shared fight against the common enemy that is COVID-19,” the minister said.
“ The pandemic has taken a heavy toll around the world and our country is no exception.”
Ivory Coast has a population of more than 25 million with over 32,000 cases confirmed.
Nigerian 3.92 million doses
Nigeria government confirmed the arrival of 3.92 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines on March 2nd.
“The successful development of vaccines and the accelerated process for emergency authorisation has brought hope to humanity all over the world,” said Boss Mustapha, chairman of Nigeria’s presidential task force on COVID-19.
Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people with over 156,000 cases of the virus confirmed.