By Tawanda Kapfidze
Ghana’s President Nana Akuffo-Addo on Monday became the first person in the world to receive the corona virus vaccine form the covax scheme.
Covax is a programme, led by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) under which some 145 participating countries are set to receive 337.2 million doses by mid-year.
Last week Ghana was the first country to receive vaccines under the scheme, receiving 600 000 doseses
“It is important that I set the example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it, so that everybody in Ghana can feel comfortable about taking this vaccine,” the 76-year old president said before receiving a shot of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in a live broadcast.
Zimbabwe which has already received 200 000 Sinopharm vaccines from the Chinese government is also set to receive 1 million vaccines from Covax.
Meanwhile Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first recipient of India’s homegrown, Covaxin, indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
“Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. I appeal to all those who were eligible to take a vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!,” he tweeted.
India’s drug regulator has given the green light to Covishield (the local name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the UK) and Covaxin.