In justifying claims on why government procured Sputnik V vaccines for $19 instead of the ex-factory price of $10, the Ministry of Health has disclosed that part of the reason was for fear that suppliers were going to withdraw from negotiations in a highly competitive global supply terrain.
Chief Director of the Ministry, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari in a statement noted that 15,000 doses that were destined for Ghana were almost diverted to other countries because a supplier almost opted to serve a higher bidder.
According to him, “We (government) were torn between accepting the price to enable us 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.”
All these unfolded because government was unable to obtain direct supplies from the Russian government, therefore, the need to resort to the use of middlemen.
The Ministry’s statement was in reaction to a Norwegian tabloid, Vergens Gang’s investigative report that cited Ghana as part of countries that purchased the Russia-made vaccines through some businessmen at $19 per dose instead of $10 ex-factory price.
According to the Ministry, the proposed price from its Emirati middleman was $25 but was negotiated to $19 per dose.
The Ministry confirmed that the factory price for the vaccine remained $10 but several factors contributed to pegging it at $19.
The Ministry also assured Ghanaians that it will work towards securing Coronavirus vaccines despite the global shortages in a bid to accomplish government’s efforts to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible.