The struggle to get Covid jab certificates

Saturday September 25 2021
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How university hospital saved me

Loraine Achieng, student

On May 19, I make up my mind to take a Covid jab. I call up a friend, who advises me to go to Case Hospital on Buganda Road in Kampala.

Receiving me at the hospital are two young ladies, who ask if I have any work or National Identity (ID) card.

As I produce my school and National ID, the two ladies quickly express regret, saying they have limited vaccines.

I quickly call up my friend, who suggests I try my luck at the Ministry of Health headquarters since it is within the same area.

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At the ministry, all is smooth from registering upon producing a national ID to getting the jab.

But my second trip for the second jab is an ordeal.

I return to the Ministry of Health offices in August to get my second shot.

But as I approach the checkpoint, I tell them I have come for Covid-19 vaccination.

But one of the security personnel quickly tells me they no longer do vaccinations at the premises.

He advises that I go to Makerere University hospital, and helpfully gives me clear directions.

On approach, I see a tent teeming with people who had come for both their first and second Jabs.

In the queue, I ask where the endless line would stop.

I soon get to the vaccination table, hand in my card, only to be told it doesn’t bear a stamp to show where I had taken my first shot from.

I am then advised to go to Room 10 to have my card verified since it bears only a signature.

A gentleman inside takes my vaccination card and chit I had been given for verification. He checks in their system and writes on the paper my name, date, place and when I took the first jab.

This confirms I was in the system.

Relieved, I join the queue again, give in my chit, card and wait.

I then sign against my name in their registration book, indicating I have received the jab. I then pick up my card with a QR code and walk off the premises.

I walked from Kololo to Kisenyi

Allan Chekwech, journalist


On September 7, I took my second shot of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala.

But when the data entrants handed over my vaccination card, it indicated I had taken the jab from Kisenyi Health Centre IV, and not Kololo as had been indicated during the first jab at the same venue in June.

Curiously too, the officials at Kololo did not stamp our cards and referred us to Kisenyi, some 4.6 kilometres away.

 A few days later, I braved the traffic and the downtown chaos to get the all-vital stamp in Kisenyi.

I arrived there in the noon heat and promptly submitted my card to the health officials vaccinating people in a shade.

“We no longer stamp cards. You just go, the information is already captured in the system,” one of the nurses told me.

I asked whether there was an online platform where I could log in and confirm my vaccination status.

 She only said: “Go to a room upstairs and check from there. Your certificate must be ready.”

I went from room to room and no one had an idea what I was talking about.

Frustrated, I went back to office, and reached out to Health ministry officials on both phone and on Twitter.

I briefed one and inquired how I could get my certificate.

I received no response.

But two days later, a volunteer sent a link on my Twitter handle that would enable me generate a certificate.

I entered the NIN and the last six digits of my phone number as requested. The system reported an era. I have been unsuccessful and have not got a verifiable vaccination certificate. 

Is there some explanation the ministry can give us seeking verifiable Covid vaccination certificates?

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