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First doses of vaccine delivered from Covax soil to West African country of Ghana

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The 31-million-strong West African country was selected as the first recipient after sending a distribution plan to Covax proving its healthcare teams and cold chain equipment were ready to support a fast delivery.

Other nations across West Africa are expected to receive similar shipments from Covax soon.

The touching doses in the capital, Accra, come from the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines.

The vaccine boxes departed from Mumbai on Tuesday for Dubai, where a logistics team took hundreds of thousands of syringes before being dumped off the west coast of Africa.

At Accra Airport, workers will load doses on trucks headed for communities across the country. Ghana plans to first protect the vulnerable: healthcare personnel, the elderly and those with medical conditions who increase the risk of serious illness.

In the coming days, front-line workers will begin receiving vaccines, and the next phase in the fight against the disease could begin the development of the largest immunization campaign in history, Henrietta Fore, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund. United, said in a statement.

As of Wednesday, Ghana had recorded more than 80,700 cases of coronavirus and 580 deaths.

The nation imposed severe restrictions after the pandemic hit, sealing its land and airspace borders and raising salaries for doctors and nurses.

More than 300,000 community health workers have received training in delivering vaccines in the coronavirus era, building on Ghana in past polio eradication campaigns, health officials said.

The goal is to vaccinate 20 million people, Kwame Amponsa-Akyianu, Ghana’s immunization program manager, told reporters earlier this month. It is unclear how long that mission may last, but the first shots are expected to be administered early next week.

There is hope in the eye, said Juliette M. Tuakli, a public health physician and pediatrician in Accra. People have underestimated the large number of mental health that has taken over everyone. We never thought to deal with this a year plus later.

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