The government has taken delivery of 177,600 doses of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.
The procurement was done under the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), a purchasing facility instituted by the African Union (AU) to boost the continent’s access to COVID-19 vaccines on the global market.
A Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah, received the vaccines on behalf of the government on Saturday, July 7, 2021.
According to her, it is the first consignment in series to be received this month in the country.
Madam Mensah explained that on March 28, 2021, AVAT signed a 220-million dose purchase agreement with Johnson and Johnson, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses.
She said AVAT chose Johnson and Johnson for the initial purchase because it was a single-shot vaccine, cheaper and easier to administer, and had a long shelf life and favourable storage conditions.
“It was in anticipation of the vaccine that the government procured over 3,000 huge vaccine freezers, cold boxes, among other facilities, with the capacity to meet almost all kinds of vaccine storage requirements.
“In addition to the above, the vaccine is partly manufactured on the African continent, with fill-finish activities taking place in South Africa,” she stated.
Meanwhile, she assured the ministry would continue to deliver on its mandate.
This brings to 1,515,450 the total number of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Ghana has received since February 2021.
The vaccine comes at a time the country is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases amid the government’s pledge to vaccinate 20 million adult population.
Under AVAT, AU member countries, including Ghana, have pooled financial resources to collectively purchase vaccines to ensure a healthy population for national development.