Govt assures Ugandans on vaccines arrival

Friday July 23 2021
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Over 1m people have been vaccinated in Uganda, with the majority taking only a single jab of the Covid-19 vaccines. PHOTO/AFP

The Ministry of Health has assured Ugandans that the country will receive vaccines before the end of the month to ensure continuation of the exercise, even with no specific date of arrival yet.

This comes two days into the seven-day window given for the expected arrival of two consignments of vaccines.

Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the ministry spokesperson, told Daily Monitor that even with no specific date, the government is positive about the vaccines arriving in earlier stipulated timelines.

“We are waiting for the shipment details, both AstraZeneca and Sinovac but we shall communicate the exact date.  We are waiting for confirmation from the shipping agents. We are waiting for the notice, but we expect them tentatively before close of month,” he said.

During an update of the status of the pandemic early this month, the Minister for Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said country would between July 21 and 27, receive 286,080 doses of AstraZeneca from the Covax facility as well as  a donation of 300,000 doses of Sinovac from the Chinese government by July.

Other doses, including 688,880 doses are expected to be in the country early next month.

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As of July 20, Uganda has administer  1,110,867  doses as the last consignment of  175,200 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca received on June 16  is fast getting exhausted with a section of Ugandans waiting for their second dose.

Calls for patience

Mr Ainebyoona said there are some vaccines left but added that those who miss will have to be patient as government anticipates the arrival.

“The KCCA vaccination centres and health facilities still have vaccines, even up country some places still have. Those that do not have, the population should kindly be patient as we await for another consignment. By early August we shall be able to resume after they have been supplied with additional doses,” he said.

The initial stock of 864,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through Covax and a donation of 100,000 jabs was exhausted as the country moves to inoculate 21.9 million of its population

Many countries in Africa have raised concerns over difficulty in accessing vaccines compared to counterparts in Europe and America.

Dr Alfred Driwale, the the head of immunisation programme at the Ministry of Health, said the matter must be contexualised.

“This must be explained in the context that there is a global shortage in vaccines…Covid vaccination is needed all over the world, everybody is waiting for the vaccines. One of the things we are going to live with is vaccine shortage,” Dr Driwale said.

Experts have, with seven days to the end of a 42-day lockdown, tagged a full reopening to the vaccination.

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