President Akufo-Addo, in a perceptibly desperate attempt to assuage the angst of Ghanaians in his recent address to the nation on measures taken by his government to vaccinate Ghanaians against Coronavirus, made litany of promises, including ensuring that all Ghanaians are vaccinated.
While we commend this move by the president, we are also tempted to ask: where is the Sputnik V that Ghanaians were promised the country was taken delivery of by end of April?
This question becomes pertinent when it is realised that since vaccines were given approval for use after the clinical trials, Ghana only has to depend on doses that are donated to us.
We recall that, the first vaccine the country received was under the COVAX initiative.
Ghana in February became the first country globally to receive a vaccine shipment from the COVAX facility – a global initiative that's trying to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines – when 600,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses were delivered.
In March, MTN, also donated 165,000 of up to 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses that the telecommunication giant is donating to African countries.
Delivering the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, March 9, President Akufo-Addo told Ghanaians that "a total of 262,335 Ghanaians had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccines at 10:30 am on March 9" adding Ghana will take delivery of 17.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by June 2021, with more to come later in the year.
Again, last month, a press release from the health ministry said, "The supply of the vaccine is part of an arrangement between government and the Private Office of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of the Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates."
Ghana on Friday May 7, received yet again, 350,000 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) coronavirus vaccine, which has enabled it start offering second doses of the shot after it nearly ran out.
The 350,000 doses it received on Friday were part of a batch of 1.7 million doses the COVAX scheme delivered to the Democratic Republic of Congo on March 2.
Congo has been forced to redistribute 1.3 million doses of those vaccines to other countries because it will not be able to administer them before they expire at the end of June.
The government of Ghana, is yet to meet even one promise it made to deliver the vaccines on time. It is shameful that, as a sovereign state, we have to rely on the generosity and benevolence of our bilateral and multilateral partners.
This newspaper is worried that, if the government does not take urgent and proactive steps to acquire the vaccines, instead of depending on charity, when the new variant strikes, we might be counting dead bodies than India, as most people have stopped observing the safety protocols the president keeps reminding them of.