The country received the first batch of Johnson and Johnson consisting of 196,800 doses on October 8 and to date, a total of 650,000 doses of the single-dose drug have arrived. But they have since been shelved raising questions especially among people who prefer a single dose jab.
The Ministry of Health is withholding the Johnson and Johnson
(J&J) COVID -19 vaccines which arrived in the country in early
October. Experts attribute the delay to the challenge of the short–shelf
life of other
vaccines being distributed in the country.
The country received the first batch
of Johnson and Johnson consisting of 196,800 doses on October 8 and to date, a total
of 650,000 doses of the single-dose drug have
they have since been shelved raising questions especially
among people who prefer a single dose
While speaking to
journalists on Friday, Dr Tegnen
Woldermariam the World Health Organisation (WHO) Uganda Country
said these jabs are not about to be used, noting that officials had
to make a choice to withhold the jabs in order to utilize those
that will soon expire.
//Cue in; ”I fully understand…
Woldermariam says while vaccination is voluntary and one
a choice to pick whatever jab they feel safe using, the principle
doesn’t apply to the government which is striving to have as many people
vaccinated and yet has limited supplies.
//Cue in; “Knowing that each…
Cue out…Shelf life first.”//
Uganda is supposed to get a total of nine million doses of Johnson and Johnson that the government ordered the African Union Pre-ordering mechanism
but so far the country has generally
depended on donations for the over two million doses that they have been
dispensed. Many of the jabs have been brought with a shelf –life of fewer than
four months to expire.
A total of 8, 912,810
doses have been received in the country and Health Minister Dr Jane
Ruth Aceng says of these, 3.9 million doses have already been utilized. She says they plan to have reached 4.8 million
Ugandans by December and they are moving fast to ensure that they don’t experience
any wastages since some of the drugs will soon expire.
Aceng for instance notes that apart from earlier designated
vaccination points, the Ministry will in the coming days embark on doing mass
vaccination campaigns and outreaches closer to the community. Starting Monday she says, they will be holding mass
vaccinations in regions starting with the hotspots of Teso, Lango and Acholi.
//Cue in; ”Beginning 8th November…
Cue out…targeted for vaccination.”//
So far, however, only 749,126 Ugandans have been fully
vaccinated, which accounts for only 3.7 per cent of the priority populations of
teachers, security personnel, health workers and people with co-morbidities that
were initially targeted.
The plan by the government is to have 22million Ugandans vaccinated
by end of next year. Most of these vaccinations will happen in the New
since they expect only about 4million vaccine doses more this year. By
end of this year, Aceng says the country will have received
12,288,750 doses which are a mix of Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca,
Sinovac, Sinopharm and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
Meanwhile, according to requirements by WHO, vaccines used
under an arrangement of Emergency Use Listing (EUL) should have a short life
span not longer than a year because they are being used prematurely to beat the
public health emergency.