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COVID-19: Uganda Has Vaccinated 1.5 Percent Of Targeted Population

Less than 1.5 per cent of the persons targeted for vaccination in Uganda have received the recommended two jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This represents only 232,743 of the targeted 22 million people, according to the Ministry of Health figures. Records also show that a total of 906,517 persons who got the first jab are yet to receive their second one, as recommended by the World Health Organisation-WHO.

The majority of the persons who have been fully vaccinated are health workers, Members of parliament, security personnel, persons aged above 50 and some journalists. Other high priority groups like teachers have vaccinated less than 150,000 people with only one dose of the vaccine.

This is below the World Health Organisation’s target to have at least 10 per cent of country populations fully vaccinated by September 2020. But according to Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the low vaccination numbers can be attributed to the low supply of vaccines on the global market, which affected initial plans to carry out mass vaccination of all Ugandans aged above 18.

According to the health ministry, Uganda is expecting a total of 286,080 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and an additional 300,000 doses of Sinovac this weekend. In addition to this, over 600,000 doses of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccines that were donated from the United States through the COVAX facility are expected in July.

At the moment, the National Drug Authority has authorized the use of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac, Sinopharm and Johnson&Johnson vaccines. But with over 20 million Ugandans that are yet to receive any vaccines, the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization-UNEPI says that more work needs to be done to secure more vaccines.

In addition to relying on donations, that have enabled the country to vaccinate at least one million Ugandans with one dose of AstraZeneca, the government has instructed all Ugandan embassies to help identify possible channels through which Uganda can access vaccines. The minister says the move is aimed at addressing the high risks of fraud and fake vaccines.

To increase stocks of vaccines in the country, the government has placed an order of nine million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility and two million doses of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine through the African Union, for which it has committed up to three million Shillings.

-URN

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