According to health ministry officials, the available vaccines will be used to fully vaccinate 150,000 people who are in organized groups. Groups that are being targeting for to get the vaccine include; soldiers, persons working in organizations or those belonging to associations of persons with co-morbidities
Uganda received 964,000 vaccine doses which were sent to different local governments. According to the health ministry, KCCA was one of the local government authorities that received the highest number of vaccines. It is estimated that over 200,000 doses were given to the authority. Now the health ministry wants it to account for 21,000 vaccines
All those who have received two doses of the vaccine were among the first people vaccinated in the country. According to records from the health ministry, these persons where vaccinated between March 10 and April 3,2021.Getting two doses of the vaccines means that these persons now have 100 protection against the disease. When infected, they will not get severe forms of the disease. They will also not be hospitalised.
"In April I went to Mulago, Victoria Hospital and even KCCA Kisenyi hoping to get vaccinated but no place would give me the vaccine. They all said that I was not among those designated to get the vaccine in the first phase of the exercise," he said.
According to WHO, less than 5 percent of the entire continent has received one jab of the vaccines. However, due to global vaccine shortages of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, many countries cannot issue second doses
Only 82,746 teachers and health workers have received one dose of the vaccine. According to the health ministry, 249,546 people in the priority groups have received one dose of the vaccine. The breakdown of the vaccinated groups shows that security personnel have the highest vaccination numbers at 115,800 followed by people aged 50 and above at over 51,000
All persons going to get the second dose will have to present the Ministry of Health vaccination card that shows when they received the first dose. A number of legislators, health workers and journalists are among the first categories of people to benefit as the exercise kicked off this morning at the Ministry headquarters in Kampala.
The consignment from the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility was initially expected in May, but the Serum Institute of India, the source for Uganda’s COVID-19 jab announced that it was halting vaccine exports to first, serve their domestic market in India, where infections were soaring.
The vaccination exercise runs from 8am to 5pm every weekday. However, on Friday, the centre closed at 2pm because there were less than five doses remaining and yet over ten people were waiting to be vaccinated.
The calls followed reports of low vaccination uptake throughout the country. According to data from the health ministry, only 304,030 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the central region of the country having the lowest vaccination rates. On average,35 per cent of the targeted 100,000 within the region have been vaccinated.
Only 24,093 health workers have received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine out of the targeted 150,000. According to the health ministry, the low uptake of the vaccine among health workers is likely to make communities more suspicious of the vaccination campaign.
Health ministry officials have been forced to change the original plan of vaccination to increase uptake of the vaccine. Originally, vaccination was supposed to start with health workers, teachers, security personnel, persons with co-morbidities and those aged 50 and above
Dr Jackson Orem, the Executive Director of the institute, says that all the 400 need to get vaccinated by Tuesday next week. He explains there is a need for all staff to get the jab since they are at high risk of contracting the virus.
Dr. Alfred Driwale, the Programme Manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunisation says with the expected vaccines in May 2021, they will be able to fully vaccinate all the people covered in the first round with the second jab.
According to the health ministry, on average vaccines worth Ugx 6.5 billion are wasted annually during routine immunization. However, with a shortage of funds and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, health workers are being advised to open vaccine vials once a minimum of 10 people have registered for vaccination
The minister’s announcement comes a few days after the Initiative for Social Economic Rights and Unwanted Witnesses petitioned court challenging the decision by the Ministry to use only National Identity cards to identify COVID-19 vaccine beneficiaries, saying this would leave out many Ugandans who have never received IDs or have lost them.