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COVID-19: Only 264,402 Ugandans Fully Vaccinated

Only 264, 402 Ugandans had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of last week, according to the Health Ministry. 

Records from the Health Ministry show that as of last week, only 43,957 health workers, 47,148 security officers and 61,848 teachers out of the targeted 150,000, 250,000 and 550,000 targeted categories of individuals respectively were fully vaccinated. In addition to this, 56,912 persons aged 50 and above and 6,373 people living with co-morbidities are also fully vaccinated.

The government had planned to vaccinate over 4 million people in different priority groups against COVID-19.  Health Ministry officials say the vaccine uptake is good but being hindered by vaccine stockouts. 

Dr Alfred Driwale, the programme manager of Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization, says that if the country had more vaccines, more people would be fully vaccinated as now. “The uptake of the vaccines is encouraging. The only issue we are dealing with now is vaccine stocks. That is the big issue here. With global vaccine shortages, countries like Uganda have not been able to buy vaccines and we are relying on donations now,” he said.

  The government has so far received 2,024,600 vaccine doses in donations. These include 1,724,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated through the COVAX facility and 300,000 Sinovac doses from China. According to Driwale, more Ugandans will be vaccinated since the country expects the first batch of the procured vaccines in September. He explained that they have procured 27 million doses of Johnson and Johnson and Sinopharm vaccines.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer in the Health Ministry in a statement issued on Thursday last week, said the government hopes to have fully vaccinated at least 18 million people by next year.

“More vaccines are expected through the COVAX facility and the dose sharing arrangements. The first batch of the 9 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines procured by the government of Uganda through the African Union are expected in September, whereas the additional 18 million doses of Sinopharm Vaccines procured by the government through the COVAX facility are expected between October and December to enable continuous vaccination of the target population of 21.9 million people above 18 years of age,” Ainebyoona said.

At the moment the government has ring-fenced 300,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine for teachers.

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