Ghana first to receive vaccines through Covax
Ghana has become the first country to receive coronavirus vaccines through the Covax vaccine-sharing initiative.
The World Health Organization (WHO) programme aims to ensure that vaccines are shared fairly among all nations.
Covax is aiming to deliver about two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines globally by the end of the year.
Many rich nations, who began their own vaccinations months ago, have faced criticism for buying or ordering more vaccines than they need.
A total of 600,000 doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University arrived in Ghana's capital Accra on Wednesday.
Vaccinations are expected to start there next week.
In a joint statement, the WHO and the United Nations children's fund (Unicef) said it was a "momentous occasion".
"The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end," they said.
The West African country has recorded more than 80,700 cases of coronavirus and 580 deaths since the pandemic began. These numbers are believed to fall short of the actual toll because of low levels of testing.
The WHO and Unicef said the shipment represented "part of the first wave of Covid vaccines headed to several low-and middle-income countries".
Though the vaccines are not generally intended for children, Unicef is involved in the scheme because of its expertise in procurement and the logistics of vaccine delivery.
It told the BBC that Ghana was one of the countries selected to receive the first batch of vaccine doses "as it met the conditions precedent for receiving the vaccine".
BBC online, Feb., 24th, 2021