After further explanation and briefing through an online forum discussion it appears that when the first phase of Ghana’s mass vaccination against the deadly coronavirus starts in March this year, it is likely to cost the country $13 for a vaccine per person.
And by October when the second phase of the vaccine deployment is completed, at least 20 million Ghanaians would have received the vaccines.
This $13 total estimate is the worst-case scenario and includes the cost of the vaccine ($10) and logistics for administering the vaccines ($3).
According to report by the Ghana News Agency, the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, has said $200 million has been budgeted to vaccinate 20 million Ghanaians from the virus. This implies it will cost the government $10 to vaccinate each person.
Also, providing a comprehensive breakdown of the operational side of the vaccination at a virtual forum on Thursday, February 11, 2021, Programme Manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, said the $3 includes the operational cost of delivery of two doses for the two phases.
In all 12,471 vaccinators, 37,413 volunteers and 2,079 team supervisors will be deployed for the planned two rounds of the vaccination campaign.
The operational side of the entire vaccine rollout is estimated to cost $51,662,276.16 (or GH¢ 294,474,974) and involves the following:
-Logistics and Waste Management
-Training and Service Delivery
-Data Management, Monitoring and Evaluation
-Disease Surveillance and Safety Monitoring
The Zoom forum was organised by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a think tank, on the topic, “COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana: Availability, the science & myths.”
The CSJ event held on Thursday 11th February is part of a series of thought-provoking discussions on a myriad of topical national issues.
After the virtual forum, Dr Amponsa-Achiano said while the $13 estimate for the vaccine per person is reasonable, the cost could drop further to about $10.
He explained that going by the Gavi-negotiated average vaccine cost of $7 for all vaccines, $10 should cover the cost of procuring the vaccines and the cost of administering it to the millions of Ghanaians across the country.
Gavi is an international organisation that works with multinational institutions to improve access to new and underused vaccines for people living in poor countries.
“This will include the $3 operational cost of delivery of two doses in two rounds – i.e. $1.5 per delivery per round to each of the 20 million initially targeted,” he said.
He, however, admits that over-reliance on the Gavi-negotiated estimates for getting vaccines is not the best because that route usually delays delivery.
Shedding light on the dynamics of getting the vaccines, he said countries that are prepared to pay more for the vaccines, are more likely to get whatever quantity they want and they delivered to them earlier than countries that pay less.
According to him, some developed countries are guaranteed to get whatever dosage request they pit in because they are prepared to buy each dose at say $40.