Under normal circumstances, a person who gets an AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab takes between eight and 12 weeks before getting their second dose. But, for Joan, a student who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity, this only took two days.
Nsambya Hospital is on the spot for injecting a student with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in a space of just two days after health
workers failed to trace her information that had been recorded on the first visit.
Under normal circumstances, a person who gets an AstraZeneca
COVID-19 jab takes between eight and 12 weeks before getting their second
dose. But, for Joan, a student who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity, this only took two
When she got her first jab on Wednesday, Joan was told that the facility had run out of vaccination cards. The nurses recorded her details and advised her to pick the vaccination cards a few days later. But when she did, the records could not be traced and the nurses could also not confirm that indeed, she had been vaccinated earlier.
//Cue in; I went on Wednesday…
Cue out…Wasn’t also there.”//
Worried about what would likely happen to her, she asked
that they check her upper arm as it still pained and appeared irritated. This
is the only proof that Joan had since she didn’t get her vaccination card
immediately as stipulated in the guidelines and yet the forms that they had
temporarily registered her on were lost.
//Cue in; ”They sent me to…
Cue out…That I was vaccinated.”//
For fear of likely adverse reactions, as she already had
started experiencing fever, headache and general body weakness, the family
had to go back to the hospital on Saturday and according to the medical form, a
doctor prescribed she takes Panadol as she awaits the vaccination team that
only works during weekdays.
URN followed up on Monday but administrators at the hospital
including Public Relations Officer said they weren’t available for media interviews
as they were held up in whole-day meetings.
At the Ministry of Health, Dr Immaculate Ampaire, the
Assistant Manager of the Uganda Expanded Programme on Immunisation (UNEPI) that
is spearheading the vaccination exercise blamed the hospital for erring on both
the process followed before actual immunization and going ahead to dispense
another jab. She said clients are supposed to get their cards immediately
after being vaccinated.
She says as a ministry they had been as a de-congesting
strategy encouraging people to do pre-registration such that when they finally
come through on the day of the appointment take the jab and take the card on
//Cue in; ”Sometimes when there…
Cue out…give you a card.”//
When the issue was put to a vaccinologist Dr Ombeva
Malande, he said taking the vaccine early on than prescribed has not yet been
studied and therefore the likely risk to the recipient is unknown.
//Cue in; ”The studies that…
Cue ou…way it was done.”//
He explains though that the patient will likely get more
pronounced side effects from the vaccine adding that there will not be harmful
effects since the technology used in making the vaccine is that they give
//Cue in; ”If it was to…
Cue out…Adverse events form.”//
For now, however, Joan is scheduled to take her would-be second dose which will be her third in January. Meanwhile, complaints of errors in vaccination have been
piling. Another client who took her jab from Nsambya hospital on Monday complains
of having her personal details messed up and yet the teams only took her
through a pre-jab counselling session after the jab.
//Cue in; ”When I went…
Cue out…Before this information.”//
A lawyer by profession, she says a nurse had misspelt the
word on her card and only erased it after being alerted. Worse, she says they
only asked her if she was pregnant or breastfeeding after injecting her.