Government making unfounded excuses to buy ‘overpriced’ Sputnik vaccines – Akandoh

Parliamentary Committee on Health suspicious of cost of vaccines

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, says the government is making up unfounded excuses just to buy several doses of the Sputnik V vaccines at a higher cost.

He said there can be no justifiable reason why the vaccine, which is sold on the international market for $10, should be bought by Ghana at $19 per dose through middlemen.

“The right thing must be done so that we don’t create any desperate situation to attempt to milk the system. What is preventing the Ghana government from dealing with the manufacturer directly or joining the AU or even using the COVAX vehicle?” he quizzed.

A Norweigian news tabloid, Verdens Gang reported that Ghana has made a request 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 Chairman of Parliament’s Health Committee, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, has said that the report must be disregarded as it is much ado about nothing.

According to him, the pandemic presents a desperate situation that requires that Ghana procures the vaccine even if it is above the regular price on the international market.

“We have not been swindled as a State…Yes, the factory price is US$10 but when you get expatriates, it gets out of the factory, there are a lot of factors that come in including the profit, commission and freight to Ghana. So you don’t expect a vaccine that costs US$ 10 at the factory to be the same price when it arrives in Ghana, especially when a middleman is getting it,” he said.

But Mr. Akandoh, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Juaboso Constituency, stated on Eyewitness News that the government is trying to create a desperate situation just to buy the overpriced vaccine.

“They take advantage of the COVID-19 and claim we are in a desperate situation, and so we need it and so even if it is overpriced, we will go for it… I think that the ministry or the Minister must come clean,” he said.

Mr. Akandoh said there is a need to thoroughly probe the issue and take an action.

“What the newspaper is saying is that the manufacturer of the vaccine is saying that the Sputnik V vaccine in any part of the world should not be sold for more than $10, and that if anybody buys it above $10 it means there is something fishy in it. We need a proper probe into this matter, and we will never sweep it under the carpet,” he vowed. – CNR


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