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07.05.2021 Health

Vaccines from DRC to expire on June 24; roll-out for second doses to begin mid-May

Vaccines from DRC to expire on June 24; roll-out for second doses to begin mid-May
LISTEN MAY 7, 2021

By the middle of this month, government will begin administering the second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

This comes after Ghana received 350,000 AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX arrangements from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

These vaccines from DR Congo are set to expire on June 24, 2021.

The central African country’s consignment was shipped to Ghana after it failed to utilise them weeks after it arrived in that country.

COVAX thus decided to re-allocate these vaccines to countries that have been able to utilise their entire first allocation.

In an interview with Citi News, the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe said “we intend to use it as a kind of backup for our second dose.”

On the time frame to the expiration of the vaccines, Dr. Asiedu-Bekoe said “we have a reasonable amount of time; seven weeks or more, to deploy [the vaccines].”

“Somewhere next week, the middle of the month [May] we will start with the actual vaccination,” he added.

Dr. Asiedu-Bekoe also said the government will be guided by the limited supply of vaccines to administer the second dose according to the dates persons received the first doses of the vaccine.

“Clearly, this consignment that has come is mainly geared towards those who had the vaccination from the first three districts.”

“The idea is that by the time we get to the 12 weeks, you would have gotten your set allocation,” said Dr. Asiedu-Bekoe.

Ghana’s mass vaccination against the coronavirus begun on March 2, 2021, with the deployment of the 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines which were manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

In addition to the COVAX support, Ghana has received 50,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from the Indian government and 165,000 from MTN.

Ghana has so far vaccinated 849,527 persons against the virus, according to the Ghana Health Service.

---citinewsroom

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