Mass vaccination drive targets boda bodas

Tuesday September 28 2021
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Boda-boda cyclists in Uganda. PHOTO/FILE/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

By Shabibah Nakirigya

Kampala Capital City Authority, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and boda boda riders association, has started a mass vaccination drive for motorcycle operators in the capital.

This comes after government resumed mass vaccination across all of Kampala’s divisions. 
Mr Charles Kennedy, the surveillance focal person of Kawempe Division in KCCA, said government bringing jabs nearer to the people through community agents.

“At first eligibility was 50 years and above, but that was not because [other] people were not eligible. The doses by then were very few and government decided to start with vulnerable persons,” he said.
Mr Kennedy added that the country has received different types of vaccines and they expect to jab more people. 

“Majority of areas in Kampala District are over populated, but they are low income earners who cannot afford transport to access vaccines at the nearby government centres. We have [therefore] opened up over 10 outreaches in communities,” he said.

Mr Kennedy added that the week-long exercise is aimed at increasing the number of vaccinated persons since government has opened more sectors.

Mr Ricky Rapa Thomson, the co-founder and director of Safe Boda, welcomed the partnership with government and affirmed that motorcycle operators will continue to implement the standard operating procedures as directed by government.

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Ms Rose Ssematimba, the head of Kyebando Central Vaccination Centre at Mulago Referral Hospital, said government has secured several types of vaccine doses to tend to different sets of people.

“We expect to start using the Pfizer vaccine very soon for children from 12 to 18 years when AstraZeneca is finished because we want to have the majority of children vaccinated before the schools are open,” she said.

Ms Ssematimba advised those, who get mild side effects, to either take a lot of water and use painkillers or call the number behind the vaccination card.

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