ACCRA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Ghana on Friday took delivery of some 350,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at the Kotoka International Airport, in a boost to the country's fight against the pandemic.
Receiving the vaccines on behalf of the government, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari told journalists that the arrival of the vaccines was a "big relief" for Ghana.
"Even if you have the money to buy, it is not easy these days to get them," he said. "So this is very timely and a big relief for the country."
Ghana's COVID-19 immunization program suffered setbacks early this year due to inadequate vaccine supplies.
The delay in the procurement of additional COVID-19 vaccines is occasioned by the global scramble for vaccines and the unavailability of vaccines, said Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, director-general of the Ghana Health Service.
Ghana was the first country in the world to receive 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility on Feb. 24.
The government has also received 50,000 does of vaccines from the Indian government and 165,000 doses from telecoms giant MTN.
Ghana started its mass inoculation program on March 2, and the GHS said a total of 849,527 doses of the vaccines had been administered as of April 30.
The government has set a target of immunizing some 20 million people by the end of the year.
According to the GHS, the country's total confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 92,856 on Friday, with 90,480 recoveries and 783 deaths.