A number of people who have received the first COVID-19 shots can’t tell which vaccines types they were given.
Dr. Misaki Wayengera, a member of the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Committee says health workers have reported that upon turning up for their second jabs, some cannot tell whether they were given AstraZeneca or any other of the Jabs currently being given.
This problem which he attributes to the inability by government to align data in the field in a timely manner to the online information system hosted at the Ministry of Health comes amidst a mix of vaccines circulating in the country. These include AstraZeneca, Mordena, Sinovac, Pfizer/BioNtech and Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccines that have not yet been deployed.
Sinopharm which has already been paid for by the government will also be in the country between November and December according to Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
But, even as there is a mix and that Sinovac has run out at many vaccination points leaving teachers due for a second dose in suspense, the Ministry has maintained a guideline that vaccines should not to be mixed.
Misaki who is also a virologist heading a study that will inform whether this stand will be changed or not says so far, elsewhere, it is only AstraZeneca that has been studied to be safe once mixed with Pfizer/BioNtech as a second dose.
However, Misaki’s study may not yield the much needed results soon as the doctor says no major strides have been made so far apart from the protocol being submitted for approval.
Meanwhile as of Monday, about 2.8million doses of the vaccines had been administered, with less than a million people have been fully vaccinated.
Experts say for countries like Uganda where apart from keeping track of the vaccinated, they are challenged with constant flow of vaccines, single dose jabs like the Johnson & Johnson could be the best option.
Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze, an epidemiologist based at the Ministry told a meeting organized by the Health Journalists Network in Uganda -HEJNU that they have resolved to prioritize fisher folks, pastoralists and truck drivers for the single jab because of their mobility and difficulty to keep up with re-visits for second doses.
Overall, the country has procured 18million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine but 657,600 doses have so far arrived in the country.