The World Health Organization (WHO) kicked off the COVAX program by delivering AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines to Ghana on Feb. 24.

The 600,000 doses were received by Ghana’s Minister for Health-Designate, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu at the Kotoka International Airport.

Manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the vaccines, under the COVAX program, are set to benefit developing economies around the world.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore celebrated the milestone, hailing COVAX for working towards ensuring that all people receive the vaccines in the race towards ending the COVID pandemic.

Ghana has been recording relatively low numbers of coronavirus infections as compared to other regions of the world.

So far, the West African nation has registered 86,465 infections and 654 deaths. 

As is the case with most countries that have started administering coronavirus jabs, Ghana will prioritize health workers, elderly persons and people living with underlying conditions.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reiterated the body’s commitment to ridding the world of the pandemic, following the successful shipment of the vaccines to Ghana.

“We will not end the pandemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere…Today is a major first step towards realizing our shared vision of vaccine equity, but it’s just the beginning,’’ Ghebreyesus said.

On his part, UK’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab noted that the UK is targeting 92 countries with more that one billion jabs with the aim of containing the spread of the virus.

400 million doses of vaccines are expected to be delivered to Africa in the coming months through a partnership between the African Union (AU) and the Serum Institute.