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50-Year-Olds to Start Getting COVID-19 Jabs

According to data from the health ministry, over 3, 000,000 are registered in this age group. During this round vaccination, persons aged 18 and above who suffer from co-morbidities like; asthma, diabetes,high blood pressure can also go and get their jabs.
The Ministry of Health has called on all persons aged 50-years and above, as well as persons suffering from co-morbidities like asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure to go for COVID-19 vaccination.

Initially, the ministry had prioritised persons aged above 70, as it kicked off the vaccination drive in different parts of the country. But Dr Alfred Driwale, the head of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (UNEPI, is a priority group believed to be at high-risk of the disease.

"We want to make sure that all priority groups are protected before the second wave of COVID-19. So, yesterday we decided that the next group that needs to be vaccinated are 50-year-olds and above following vaccination of other groups of people," he said. Data shows that there are slightly more than three million people registered as aged 50 and above or have co-morbidities.

As of today, 80,836 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 using the AstraZeneca vaccine. The groups that have been vaccinated so far include health workers, security personnel, Members of Parliament, religious leaders, the Office of the Prime Minister and political leaders.

According to the health ministry, uptake of the vaccine is up after a foul start that came with scepticism at the start of the vaccination campaign. This came up when the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine was halted by countries in Europe due to severe side effects of blood clots being reported.

But Dr Yonas Woldermariam, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative to Uganda, says that there's no reason for people to be scared about potential adverse side effects of the disease.

"The vaccine works and people should expect normal side effects. There has been a lot of misinformation showing the vaccine does not work for alcoholics or that it reduces the sexual libido of people. This is not true. While the vaccine has shown to have less efficacy among alcoholics due to reduced immunity, they still offer protection and people should feel free to get them," Dr Woldermariam said.

Some of the common side effects associated with the vaccine include soreness at the injection site, nausea, dizziness, fever, headache or body weakness. However, if any of these symptoms last for more than two days, vaccinated people are encouraged to get in touch with medical officers.