The government of Ivory Coast has sent its Health Ministry officials to come to Ghana as part of a mission of understudy how Ghana managed to deploy its COVID-19 vaccines seamlessly.
The Ivorian Health Ministry officials are being conducted around by officials from Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization Ghana team.
President Nana Akufo-Addo became the world’s first recipient of a coronavirus vaccine from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free for poorer countries. Since then all attention has been on Ghana.
Richer countries have surged ahead with inoculating their population, but many poorer countries are still awaiting their first vaccine doses.
Akufo-Addo took the first jab of the vaccine to engender confidence.
“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, ” he said in a live broadcast.
He was followed by the first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo who also received a shot, and then Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and wife Samira one day before the rest of the 600,000 doses were deployed across the country.
Ghana’s food and drug authority authorised the Indian-made vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V, as the government aims to target 20 of its 30 million population by year’s end.
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.
Countries like Ivory Coast are hoping to learn from Ghana’s experience.