Ghana takes delivery of first COVID-19 vaccines donated by MTN Group

FILE PHOTO: A nurse prepares a dose of the of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during the vaccination campaign at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana, March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko/File Photo

ACCRA (Reuters) – The first 165,000 of up to 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses that MTN Group is donating to African countries have arrived in Ghana, the South African telecoms company said on Tuesday.

It is donating $25 million to support the African Union’s vaccination programme. The vaccines are intended to be distributed to health workers across the AU’s 55 member states.

The first doses, of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, arrived in Ghana on Sunday, MTN said in a statement. The initial contribution offered “some very welcome relief”, it quoted Ghana’s Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu as saying.

African countries have only begun vaccinating their citizens in recent weeks after richer countries secured early supplies.

The continent is relying primarily on free doses from the global COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, which aims to inoculate 20% of the population by the end of the year.

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