SA will pay $5.25 per dose for Covid-19 vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII) - well above what others, including developed nations, are paying for the same shots.

A Pharmacist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), has proposed that Ghana diversifies its sources for Covid-19 vaccine procurement.

Already, the country is optimistic of receiving its first consignment of vaccines by March this year, as indicated by President Akufo-Addo in his 23rd address to the nation Sunday, January 31.

However, Dr Kwame Asiedu Sarpong is of the view that channeling all efforts in one direction may not do the country any good, hence the need to exploit all possible routes.

“We should diversify our route, so we can go in for the Russian vaccines that haven’t bilateral negotiations, similar with the UK, call in for AstraZeneca, we can go in for Novavax and go in for Covax as well.”

In a discussion on PM: Express Monday, Dr Sarpong said the UK did same and succeeded, explaining that they went for every single vaccine candidate even before the potency of the virus was proven.

“Every single opportunity, they exploited, and so whichever route became successful, they were going to be winners,” he said.

“Fortunately for them, all of them have been successful, that is what Ghana should do,” he added.

Dr Sarpong noted that it will be a bad plan “if we put our eggs in one basket” thereby suggesting that when it come to vaccines, “let’s get it all in.”

Citing the UK incident, he said when the European country started scouting for vaccine candidates, “people said they were behaving as if they were in a Hollywood movie.”

“But they had a plan in place, they relied on their research communities so they had a Pre-pronator, mRNA, those were the Imperial College line, there were the Vector viruses’ vaccines, those were the Oxford line and then there were combinations coming from Southampton and other things,” he said.

He added: “Then they went out into countries like the United States with other technologies, deactivated vaccine and went into France as well.”

Meanwhile, a Leader of the Global Health and Infectious Diseases Research Group, KCCR, Dr John Amuasi on the same programme called for the elimination of middlemen in procuring the vaccines.

“I know we are pursuing aggressively, bilateral talk in negotiations and this is what we should be doing; cut out all the middlemen, negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies.”