Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has expressed worry over the disparity between developing and developed countries in having access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, addressing a press briefing on Monday, stated that although developing countries are willing to procure the commodity, the advanced countries are not willing to sell. She alleged that the advanced countries are waiting until they have achieved herd immunity before they make the vaccines available to the developing countries, thus, leaving the vulnerable countries to dry.

Distressed by the situation, the Minister reminded the developed countries about the popular adage, “no one is safe until everyone is safe,” and argued that it is crucial for African countries to be given equal access to the vaccines.

According to her, it is the only way the world can fight the global pandemic.

“It is a shame that as we speak, the vaccines that were promised to Africa with a population of 1.2 billion, we have not as a continent received anything more than 15 million.

“Ghana has received 600, 000 plus 350, 000 so that is less than 1 million from COVAX. And we believe that it is important [that we get more] because no one is safe until everyone is safe. Today, most of the countries might have the funds to procure vaccines but you cannot get the vaccine to buy,” she told the media.

Madam Botchwey was, however, optimistic that now that Ghana has been elected unto United Nations Security Council, such inequalities will be addressed.

“Ghana being on the Security Council will enable us to strongly advocate for enhanced partnerships between the UN and regional institutions such as the African Union and ECOWAS for regional peace support operation and also to make sure that there is equitable burden-sharing, including financial support to prevent conflicts,” she stated.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare has revealed that Ghana is set to produce its own Covid-19 vaccines.

According to him, a committee has been formed in this regard and is working earnestly to come out with a positive result.