Ghana has become the first country to receive coronavirus vaccines through the Covax vaccine-sharing initiative.
A total of 600,000 doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University arrived in Ghana’s capital Accra on Wednesday.
Covax is aiming to deliver about two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines globally by the end of the year.
In a joint statement, the WHO and the United Nations children’s fund (Unicef) said it was a “momentous occasion”.
“The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end,” they said.
The West African country has recorded more than 80,700 cases of coronavirus and 580 deaths since the pandemic began. These numbers are believed to fall short of the actual toll because of low levels of testing.
The WHO and Unicef said the shipment represented “part of the first wave of Covid vaccines headed to several low and middle-income countries”.
The Covax scheme was set up by the WHO, the Gavi vaccines alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to try to prevent poorer countries from being pushed to the back of the queue.