Why govt is delaying to dispatch J&J jabs
What you need to know:
- Government received the first consignment of 196,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines on October 7 and another batch of 464,800 arrived in the country on Tuesday night. But the doses are still at National Medical Stores.
Many unvaccinated Ugandans have asked government to distribute the 661,600 doses of single-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccines acquired through direct procurement using taxpayers money.
Government received the first consignment of 196,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines on October 7 and another batch of 464,800 arrived in the country on Tuesday night. But the doses are still at National Medical Stores.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the head of immunisation programme, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the Ministry of Health was waiting for more doses of the vaccine before dispatching the ones at hand.
“We did not dispatch Johnson & Johnson doses which we received two weeks ago because we knew today we are receiving more doses. So we now have a substantial quantity with adequate shelf life which we are going to dispatch all at once,” he said.
He said they would communicate by end of this week when the vaccines will be dispatched. He did not give details of where the vaccines will likely be dispatched.
However, sources at the ministry said the vaccines would be dispatched next week to Kampala Metropolitan Area.
Government said earlier that it was expecting a total of 1.2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson by end of October.
On Twitter, Praise Adaku asked the Ministry of Health to take advantage of the willingness of Ugandans to be innoculated.
“Every vaccine is good but some want a single dosage. We needed Johnson & Johnson yesterday for vaccination for many in and around Kampala metropolitan. Ministry of Health must step up her game,” the tweet read.
The country has so far vaccinated 2.5 million people out of the 21.9 million people it intends to vaccinate so as to bring the coronavirus under control and fully reopen the economy.
Ms Caroline Nakyeyune tweeted: “Are we going to find Johnson & Johnson at the vaccination centres in Kampala? We were promised a cocktail but Johnson & Johnson is still missing.”
Similary, Jeby Birungi, a businessperson said on social media: “I need a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. How do I get one? I understand most of these accelerated public vaccination drives are offering the others.”