Global, science-led biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has marked its first anniversary since exporting doses of the COVAX vaccine to Ghana and the rest of Africa – its largest global vaccination drive in history thanks to COVID-19.
On 24 February 2021, 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine were received by health authorities in Ghana.
Within days, the Ivory Coast received 504,000 doses. Since then, more than 310 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered through COVAX to 130 countries.
So far, an estimated 70 million doses have reached sub-Saharan Africa, making the AstraZeneca vaccine one of the most used COVID-19 vaccines across the continent to date.
“As part of our commitment to putting broad and equitable access at the heart of our pandemic response, AstraZeneca was proud to be the first global pharmaceutical company to join COVAX in 2020.
“Our strong partnerships with the Serum Institute of India (SII), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization are vital to deliver on our commitment to supply Africa with the COVID-19 vaccine at no profit.
“We commend the work being done by governments across the continent to increase immunisation coverage and to protect their citizens from severe disease,” Country President for Africa, AstraZeneca, Barbara Nel, said.
Ghana’s quest to establish a vaccine factory
Ghana is expected to construct a facility to produce Covid-19 vaccines under the Fill and Finish agreement with some global pharmaceutical giants.
The Facility which is a collaboration between Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda and Germany Biotechnology Company will result in the local vaccine for the treatment of viruses as well as tuberculosis and malaria.
“I am happy to announce that Ghana is on her way to establishing domestic manufacturing plants for the fill, finish and packaging of Covid-19 vaccines. “the testing has been done, the research has been done, the vaccine is in use, and we want to be able to copy it in Ghana.
“In order to do that, you will need government intervention to facilitate discussion between the original owners so that the private sectors would be allowed to copy,” the president stated.
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