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Health News of Wednesday, 19 May 2021


Coronavirus: Drones to deploy vaccines to remote areas

Last year drones were used to distribute coronavirus test kits play videoLast year drones were used to distribute coronavirus test kits

• Ghana will deploy drones for vaccine deployment

• Second phase of vaccination started on May 19, 2021

• Government aims to inoculate 20 million Ghanaians

Ghana will be deploying drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to parts of the country that are hard-to-reach, the BBC has reported.

The second phase of Ghana's vaccination rollout started today after government recently took delivery of some 360,000 jabs under the COVAX platform, an equitable vaccine distribution platform spearheaded by the World Health Organization and UNICEF among others.

The second rollout is taking place in three regions - Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central regions.

It will encompass 43 districts and only people who have had their first jab will be eligible. Authorities have used text messages to notify those who are eligible for the shots.

Ghana has inoculated about a million people since the first jab was given to president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in early March, he became the first person in the world to receive a COVAX shot.

The president has recently reiterated government's plans to ensure that the entire adult population is vaccinated with government assuring that procurement processes for extra vaccines are far advanced.

It is not the first time that drones have been deployed in the COVID-19 fight. Last year, drones were employed to deploy Coronavirus test kits across parts of the country.

In February this year when the first vaccine deployment arrived in Ghana, the GAVI alliance announced that: "As part of a new partnership between Zipline, a medical drone delivery company, logistics giant the UPS Foundation and the Government of Ghana, up to 2.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines are to be distributed to vaccination sites."

Adding: "The aim of the partnership, which was announced on the 26 February – two days after the first shipment touched down in Accra – is to improve both the speed and access of these precious vaccines, by providing on-demand delivery, even to the hardest-to-reach areas in Ghana."

But this is the first time the drones are being deployed.