Claim: Ghana to receive about 2.4 million AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine by end of February.
Source: Graphic Online, Ghanaian Times
Researched by Sani Abdul-Rahman
The claim has also appeared on the front page of a widely read daily newspaper, Ghanaian Times.
In this fact-check report, we will assess the accuracy of the claim and the timelines for Ghana to receive its COVID-19 vaccine allocation.
COVAX is a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level.
The COVAX interim distribution forecast shows plans for the distribution of more than 330 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine and 1.2 million of Pfizer/Biotech vaccine to participant countries.
Ghana signed up for the 190-member global alliance and is scheduled to receive some of the vaccines.
The distribution of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine(AZ/SII) for the first half of 2021 to countries that signed up under COVAX’s advance market commitment will be in 2 batches.
Ghana will be expected to receive 2,412,000 doses of the vaccine (AZ/SII) in total.
However, “35-40 percent of the allocation would be available in quarter one and 60-65 percent in quarter two.”
This means the more than 2.4 million doses allocated to Ghana will not be available in late February as wrongly suggested in some published reports.
“Approximately 965,000 doses of the AstraZeneca doses would arrive by the end of March,” Research Fellow, New York University School of Global Public Health, Nana Kofi Quakyi told GhanaFact.
Are the plans binding?
The provisional distribution plan is a projection aimed to provide interim guidance to health authorities of participant nations on their respective allocations and to assist them to roll out a national vaccine strategy successfully.
Therefore, the plans are non-binding and may be subject to change due to manufacturing or operational challenges, or a lack of readiness by individual countries.
“When a country doesn’t have the required storage capacity, it will be skipped, and that will alter the initial plan,” Nana Kofi Quakyi said.
The claim that Ghana will receive 2.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of February is false.