More than 800 people and an undisclosed number of clients from several companies based in the Kampala Metropolitan Area received fake Covid-19 jabs last month.
Some of the recipients have since died in the second wave of the pandemic, the Ugandan government revealed.
Dr Wallen Naamara, the head of State House Health Monitoring Unit, told Daily Monitor that people who took the fake Covid-19 jabs shouldn’t get worried because there is a possibility that the fraudsters could have injected them with water that was put in stolen bottles.
Dr Naamara told a press conference in Kampala that the suspects, including a doctor who is currently on the run, duped several people and companies and injected them with fake vaccines between May 15 and June 17.
State House detectives on Wednesday arrested two nurses from Nakawa, Kampala, on accusations of vaccinating people using a suspected fake vaccine.
“The contents of labels of this vaccine are suspected to have either been stolen from somewhere or manufactured from Nasser Road in Kampala but they did not pass the right channels of the government. Almost all the vaccines of Covid-19 are 5mls, but this one doesn’t look like 5mls, it’s actually more. The top of the vial is so tampered with and it looks like a fake vaccine,” Dr Naamara said.
Daily Monitor understands that a joint health intelligence team on June 17 raided Kiswa Health Centre, a vaccination centre in Kampala, and found that nurses there were charging people between USh100,00 and USh200,000 for each dose.
During the operation, the detective impounded a book with a list of people who have been vaccinated with the 'drug'. The book had names of persons and serial numbers of certificates awarded to those who had been vaccinated.
“We got a social media story and information from the Resident District Commissioner for Nakawa about people who were carrying out Covid-19 vaccination. We informed the police, State House intelligence team and Chieftaincy of Military intelligence to do undercover work. In the process, two nurses, who were vaccinating individuals and people in corporate institutions with 'Covid-19 vaccine', were arrested and taken to Jinja Road Police Station for investigations,” he said.
Dr Naamara, however, said the arrested nurses revealed to security that they were receiving the jabs from a Dr Francis Baguma, who is also on the run.
The detained nurses were found with stamps belonging to Kampala Capital City Authority and Kiswa Health Centre. They had 150 vaccination cards and nine vials of 'Covid-19 vaccines', which were ninety doses. They also had a notebook with names of vaccinated people from different institutions.
The nurses had the identification tags of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and consent forms, but when contacted, KCCA denied that they were their officials.