The Health Ministry came out on the matter after a letter by the Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Jane Aceng authorizing the importation of 4000 doses of the drug also known as Verocell leaked to the public.
Compassionate use of the Chinese experimental COVID-19 vaccine will be
restricted to Chinese nationals, the Health Ministry has revealed.
The Health Ministry came out on the matter on Tuesday
after a letter by the Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Jane Aceng authorizing the importation
of 4000 doses of the vaccine also known as Verocell leaked to the public.
With questions about the safety of the vaccine that was rolled out in October
for emergency use in China and is yet to receive approval from the World Health
Organization for international use, Dr. Alfred Driwale, the head of Uganda
National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (UNEPI), says the experimental
vaccine will be restricted to Chinese nationals.
He says to safeguard Ugandans who may access the vaccine irregularly
when it arrives; administering of the vaccination will be restricted to the Chinese embassy and Chinese community working in the Liao Shen Industrial Park Kapeeka since
they requested for it.
It is still unclear when the vaccines will touch down in the country
but in the December 3 letter, Aceng asks the Health Commission of China to
avail them the drug’s exit strategy.
She notes that for proper transportation
and use of the vaccine, logistics company Sino Africa medicines and health limited
has already been designated to procure the doses from either the China National
Pharmaceutical group or Sinovac Research and Development Company, the drug’s
The National Drug Authority (NDA) carries the mandate for authorizing the
importation of any drug in the country. NDA’s Executive Secretary Dr. David
Nahamya couldn’t be reached to establish whether they have tested and approved
the importation of the vaccine.
He neither picked nor responded to texts from
our reporter to his cellphone. But, Driwale says the full authorization processes are still underway. He notes
for Ugandans, access to vaccines will be after recommendation by the World