Akufo-Addo, Bawumia to take world’s first COVAX COVID-19 jab today

Ghana’s president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo makes history today, 1 March 2021 as the first leader in the world to take the COVAX COVID-19 vaccine jab.

The ceremony takes place at the 37 Military Hospital for the president and Police Hospital for the vice president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

The West African country has already taken delivery of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 acquired through the Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto.

“Our domestic regulatory agency, FDA, one of the most reputable in Africa and in the world, has certified the safe use of the vaccine. It will not do so if it had any reservations about the safety of the vaccine, and I have gone on record as saying that no vaccine will be deployed in the country for use without the express certification of the FDA,” Akufo-Addo told the nation in his 24th address to the nation on Sunday

“Taking the vaccine will not alter your DNA, it will not embed a tracking device in your body, neither will it cause infertility in women or in men,” the president said.

“As your President, I want to assure you that the vaccine is safe. That is why tomorrow, on Monday, 1st March, ahead of the commencement of the vaccination programme on Tuesday, 2nd March, my wife the First Lady, the Vice President, his wife the Second Lady, and I will take the vaccine publicly at two (2) health facilities in Accra,” Akufo-Addo announced ahead of today’s inoculation ceremony at the 37 Military Hospital.

Ghana’s vaccination programme rolls out 2 March and will be done in phases.

“The first segment of the population that will receive from the 600,000 doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region. A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered,” an initial statement from the Information Ministry said.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines were produced by the Serum Institute of India.

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