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Reduction in COVID-19 Infections Affects Vaccine Uptake

So far, Uganda has received over 11.5 million vaccines with an additional nine million Johnson&Johnson vaccines expected to arrive next month. However, data from the health ministry shows that only 3.9 million vaccines have been distributed with only around 750,000 people fully vaccinated.
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A reduction in COVID-19 cases reported on a daily basis is affecting the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, according to health officials.

Data from the health ministry show that the number of cases reported has reduced from a daily average of 121 in September to 77 in October and now stands at 55 for the month of November. As a result, Ugandans have become lax, showing no fear about the disease and its possible effects.

Dr Immaculate Ampaire, the Assistant Programme Manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization says that the demand for the vaccines increased towards the end of the second wave, but the numbers have drastically gone down. Ampaire observes a need to make the vaccine more accessible than it already is by employing more tactics to get adults vaccinated.

"But I think the issue of the low uptake is more on the accessibility of vaccines by people. This is an adult vaccine and we need to use all available tactics to get people to take them. We cannot sit back and put it at certain points. We need to move and put the vaccine in the faces of the people that we are targeting so that they have no other option but to get vaccinated," she said.

Similarly, Dr Annet Kisakye, a National Professional Officer-Expanded Programme on Immunisation says fewer people are now getting vaccinated because they think COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

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Dr Kisakye says the country has enough vaccines to vaccinate as many as five million people or more by the end of the year. So far, Uganda has received over 11.5 million vaccines with an additional nine million Johnson&Johnson vaccines expected to arrive next month. However, data from the health ministry shows that only 3.9 million vaccines have been distributed with only around 750,000 people fully vaccinated.

At the moment, the country is carrying out a mass vaccination exercise to ensure an increase in the uptake of vaccines. As part of the campaign, more vaccination points have been set up countrywide and help has been sought from traditional leaders to encourage persons to go for vaccination.

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