The consignment is part of a 3.5 million vaccine donation from the COVAX facility. Initially, the country was expecting to get 2.3 million vaccines in May following 964,000 vaccine sent in March but due to the exportation ban on vaccines from India, the country will receive less than what was expected.
A health worker charges a syringe with a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
People who belong to priority groups or those supposed to get their second COVID-19 jab will benefit from a consignment of 175,200 vaccines expected to arrive in the country today. This implies that the jabs will be reserved for only teachers, health workers, older persons and those with underlying health conditions.
consignment is part of a 3.5 million vaccine donation from the COVAX
facility. Initially, the country was expecting to get 2.3 million
vaccines in May following 964,000 vaccine sent in March but due to the
exportation ban on vaccines from India, the country will receive less than what was expected.
According to the health ministry, only 378,835 people out of the 850,000 targeted in the priority groups have received at least one jab of the vaccine. Now due to supply challenges, the health ministry has decided to give the vaccines to a few selected groups.
"Only people in the initial priority groups plus those who are supposed to get their second jabs will get the vaccines. They are few in number and can only benefit a few. Other persons will have to wait for others to come," Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer
at the Ministry of Health says.
According to data from the health ministry, less than half of the priority groups got the vaccines. As of June 14, only 96,718 teachers and 60,617 health workers had received the first jab out of the 550,000 and 150,000 vaccines planned for respectively. The Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunisation, says that persons that faced low risks of being infected with the disease were more interested in getting the vaccines.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the programme manager of UNEPI says that If the current rate of vaccination remains the same where at least 143,000 people are vaccinated daily, the vaccines will last two days at the most. As such persons who are supposed to get their second dose this week or at the end of the month will not be able to get vaccines.
Dr Monica Musenero, the senior presidential advisor on epidemics says they are working towards making sure that all persons who have received one dose of AstraZeneca get the second. She however adds that the country is looking into other alternative vaccines.
"We are looking for enough AstraZeneca vaccines to give a second dose to all people who have gotten one jab. However, people who are yet to get vaccinated will likely get other vaccines that we are working on to provide, " she said.
The health ministry is now looking at using other vaccines like the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Russia's Sputnik V, Moderna and even China's Sinovac.