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Ghana Health Service justifies procurement of ‘expensive’ Sputnik-V vaccines

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has justified the government’s decision to procure Sputnik-V vaccines at an overpriced value.

The GHS said the government was compelled to rely on the market for the vaccines after it failed to procure supplies directly from the Russian government.

“It should be noted that US$ 10 price per dose which is being proposed as the correct price, is the ex-factory price which is only obtained from government to government arrangements. Government of Ghana was unable to obtain direct supplies from the Russian government as stated earlier, hence the resort to the market,” a statement signed by the Chief Director of the GHS, Kwabena Boadu Oku Afari said.

A Norweigian news tabloid, Verdens Gang had reported that Ghana has requested to purchase 3.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine through two businessmen who are selling it to Ghana at $19 per dose instead of the $10 per dose on the international market.

The initial price quoted for the vaccine was US$25, but it was negotiated downwards to US$19, according to the GHS.

The GHS explained that at the time of negotiating for the deal, “there was scarcity or non-availability of the vaccines on the market.”

“Ghana had also been informed by COVAX that the Astrazeneca vaccines would not arrive till the end of June 2021, so we were operating severely in the suppliers’ market. We were torn between accepting the price to enable us to have access to the vaccine or facing the situation of the seller withdrawing from the negotiations to the extent that the 15,000 doses that had been shipped to Ghana were going to be rerouted to other countries,” the GHS added.

Source: CNR

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