Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo became the first recipient of a coronavirus vaccine under the global Covax scheme.

Covax, a scheme designed to ensure poorer countries do not miss out on vaccinations as worries grow that rich nations are hogging the doses, is aiming to deliver at least two billion jabs by the end of the year.

Mr Akufo-Addo (below) received his AstraZeneca shot live on television along with his wife, while in neighbouring Ivory Coast a presidential spokesman got the country's first jab, also part of a Covax delivery.

Nana Akufo-Addo

Ivory Coast received some 504,000 jabs from Covax, while Ghana got 600,000 that it will start to roll out this week.

"It is important that I set the example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it, so that everybody in Ghana can feel comfortable about taking this vaccine," the president said.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi also got his coronavirus jab today - although a glitch in the online booking system meant thousands of others were turned away from hospitals nationwide.

And in the United States, 3.9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are due to be delivered after it became the third jab approved by US regulators.

The J&J rollout comes as a boost to US President Joe Biden's plan to beat back a virus that has killed more than half a million Americans, making the US the world's worst-hit nation.

Vaccines are seen as crucial to returning the world to normality and healing the economy after a pandemic that has claimed more than 2.5 million lives across the globe.

Over 224 million doses have been administered worldwide, according to national data compiled by AFP, with the Philippines among the latest countries to launch a rollout today.

But rich countries have bought up the vast majority of doses available, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that the crisis cannot end unless poor countries can vaccinate their populations too.

A new row is brewing over a call led by India and South Africa for intellectual property rights to the vaccines to be waived.

Backed by dozens of governments from Argentina to Bangladesh, they argue that this would boost production and ultimately bring the pandemic to a swifter end.

But the United States, the European Union and Switzerland - home to major pharmaceutical firms - oppose the idea, which is being thrashed out at a World Trade Organization meeting today and tomorrow.