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COVID-19 Jabs Will Only be Effective With Mass Vaccination-Experts

According to health experts, the reported deaths of already vaccinated personnel does not prove that the vaccine is ineffective, but rather that more people need to get vaccinated so that herd immunity can be built. So far at only 3.3 per cent of the targeted 26.7 million people have received one jab, yet the country needs to vaccinate at least 65 per cent of its population.
26 Jun 2021 07:43
The Chairperson of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee, Prof David Sserwadda receives his first COVID-19 shot

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The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will only be able to offer protection against the disease and stop deaths or severe cases once more Ugandans are vaccinated, according to experts.

According to health experts, the reported deaths of already vaccinated personnel does not prove that the vaccine is ineffective, but rather that more people need to get vaccinated so that herd immunity can be built. So far at only 3.3 per cent of the targeted 26.7 million people have received one jab, yet the country needs to vaccinate at least 65 per cent of its population.

Dr Misaki Wayengera, a virologist and head of the ministerial COVID-19 scientific task force says that more vaccinations need to be carried out and that people who have been vaccinated need to continue protecting themselves for at least 20 days to guarantee their safety.

"After vaccination the level of immunity is low. Immunity is built after a while. People who have been vaccinated need to observe all SOPs for at least 20 days as the body builds immunity," Wayengera said.


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As of now, there's no data to indicate how many people have succumbed to COVID-19 in the country after being vaccinated. However, in light of the high number of infections being reported, Dr Alfred Driwale, the Programme Manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme (UNEPI) says the deaths should not be a surprise since vaccines cannot protect all persons.

According to Driwale, with every vaccination that takes place, 14 per cent of those vaccinated are likely not to receive protection offered by the vaccine. As such, they might need a booster dose to get protection or be protected by others being vaccinated.


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The second round of vaccination is expected to start next week on Monday and only people getting their second jab will be vaccinated.  However, with COVID-19 variants circulating in the country, some of which have proved to be resistant to vaccines, Wayengera says more than two doses of the vaccines might be needed.

"Right now, there are studies that recommend getting more than two jabs of the vaccines for optimal protections especially in settings with variants. So we might need to do that but even then, people will need to take precaution after getting each dose," he explained.

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