FT: Russia's Coronavirus Vaccine More Expensive for Africa Than Western Jabs

Ghana gets delivery of COVID19 vaccines from the COVAX facility

Ghana gets delivery of COVID19 vaccines from the COVAX facility

It plans to deliver almost 2 billion doses this year, including 1.8 billion to poorer countries at no cost to their governments, and to cover up to 20% of countries' populations. As part of the UN Country Team in Ghana, UNICEF and World Health Organization reiterate our commitment to support the vaccination campaign and contain the spread of the virus, in close cooperation with all partners, including Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

COVAX said it had allocated the first tranche of 330 million doses of vaccines for 145 countries.

"I was very excited and quite happy that one of the developing countries was also getting involved with vaccines", said Winnipegger Frank Indome, a board member of African Communities of Manitoba Inc.

Not all countries can afford their own COVID-19 vaccines, and in past pandemics, including the 2009 swine flu pandemic, vaccines were hoarded by rich countries until the outbreak ended.

The United Nations is calling on countries to provide more support.

The first supply from the initiative - 600,000 doses - arrived at an airport in Ghana's capital, Accra, on Wednesday. But as the watershed delivery was celebrated in Ghana, there was more bad news for Brussels over its scramble to secure coronavirus vaccines for the European Union.

Ghana on Wednesday became the first country to receive vaccines from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute Covid inoculations for free for poorer countries. The world's supply of COVID-19 vaccines is extremely limited - companies are struggling to make more - and experts predict there won't be enough shots to cover the global population until 2023 or 2024.

Ghana gets delivery of COVID19 vaccines from the COVAX facility
Ghana gets delivery of COVID19 vaccines from the COVAX facility

"We will not end the pandemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere", said Tedros, the World Health Organization leader. Neighbouring Ivory Coast will be the next to receive vaccines, and also will roll them out starting next week.

The AU also has agreements in place for two-dose vaccines from Pfizer, which the FT reports will cost $6.75 per dose, and single-dose vaccines from Johnson & Johnson that cost $10. The AstraZeneca doses make up the bulk of the shots COVAX has deals for and was only authorized last week.

Although the Group of Seven, a club of major economic powers, promised to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and pledged $7.5 billion for COVAX, there have been few details from countries including Britain, Germany and France about when they would be willing to donate any of their excess shots.

"India's vaccine production, delivery capacity will be used to help humanity in fighting COVID-19", Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the UN General assembly in September.

Some 145 participating economies are set to receive 337.2 million doses - enough to vaccinate a little over three percent of their combined populations.

The arrival of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the West African country marks the beginning of the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history, according to the World Health Organisation and Unicef. COVAX is a global expression of equity and it can not be stressed enough that to end the pandemic all countries must move forward with vaccination together.

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    And Russia has offered to supply 300 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to the AU scheme along with a financing package. Covax is a global initiative that aims at accelerating fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for every country.

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