Covid19 vaccines in West Africa: Ghana & Ivory Cost launched vaccination campaign

March 02, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire on Monday March 1, became the first countries on the continent and more specifically in West Africa to vaccinate their citizens against Covid-19 thanks to the Covax device, intended for poor countries.

Abidjan and Accra respectively received 504 thousand and 600 thousand doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine as part of the COVAX mechanism. These vaccines were produced under license from the Serum Institute of India, India.

While most rich countries have started vaccination campaigns weeks ago, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, 76, on Monday became the first person in the world to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine funded by Covax. "It is important that I lead by example," he said.

In Ivory Coast, it was Patrick Achi, Minister and Secretary General of the Ivorian Presidency who was vaccinated. The vaccination campaign in Ivory Coast targets high-risk populations, health workers, teachers and the armed forces, said the UNICEF office (United Nations Children's Fund) in the country on Twitter.

Senegal, for its part, received its first 200,000 doses of Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, on Wednesday February 17 and began its vaccination campaign on February 23. The 20,000 health workers and those over 60 with co-morbidities, two groups representing 3% of the population, were the first groups to receive the doses. In the process, people with chronic disease and those over 60 without comorbidity also benefit. To date out of a population of nearly 16 million, only 25,653 people have been vaccinated in the country, i.e. 0.16%

Guinea, which has received the Russian Sputnik V vaccines, has also launched its vaccination campaign and has 25 people vaccinated out of a population of over 12 million inhabitants.

It should be noted that Nigerians are expecting this Tuesday, March 2, nearly four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Covax system, which aims to provide anti-Covid vaccines this year to 20% of the population of nearly 200 countries and territories. Most importantly, it includes a funding mechanism that allows 92 low- and middle-income economies to access the valuable doses.

So far, more than 244 million doses of the covid vaccine have been administered in at least 123 countries or territories, according to a count by AFP Monday March 1.

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