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Uganda vaccinates 5pc of target population

Thursday July 15 2021
A teacher receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

A teacher receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a health center in Kampala, capital of Uganda, March 31, 2021. Uganda launched the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination campaign on March 10, targeting high risk groups in the east African country. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KAJOBA | XINHUA

By DAILY MONITOR

After about four months since the Covid-19 vaccination exercise kicked off, at least 1.07 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered, representing about 5 per cent of the targeted population.

Of the targeted 21.9 million people, 878,890 have received the first dose of AstraZeneca and another 201,053 are fully vaccinated, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.

According to Uganda Medical Association (UMA), vaccination is the ideal way of dealing with the high Covid-19 hospital admissions and deaths.

Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, the general secretary of UMA yesterday said that: “If we vaccinate against Covid-19, the health system won’t be very strained. We have reported Covid-19 variants but it seems most vaccines protect he recipients from most of the variants.”

The vaccination exercise has been adopted by most of other countries as a mechanism to combat Covid-19.

In Rwanda for example, from January 3, 2020 to July 13, 2021, there have been 49,016 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 582 deaths, reported to World Health Organisation (WHO), and a total of 398,096 vaccine doses had been administered as of July 12.

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The neighbouring Kenya has fully vaccinated at least 0.97 per cent (521,720) of the people whereas 0.94 per cent (506,949) have been partially vaccinated, according to Oxford Martin School data. 

In the first phase, Kenya has prioritised the vaccination of 1.25 million people between February and June this year when it was expected that global vaccine stocks will be limited.

In phase two running from June 2021 to June 2022, and as more vaccines become available, their plan is to vaccinate 9.7 million more Kenyans. They will target people aged 50 years and above, and those above 18 but with underlying health conditions. 

In South Sudan, from January 3, 2020, to July 13, 2021, there have been 10,911 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 117 deaths, reported to WHO. As of July 12, 2021, a total of 55,915 vaccine doses have been administered.

The vaccination process in the country started on low momentum due to a number of reasons but has since picked momentum with the entry of the second wave. Currently, most of the vaccination points have run out of vaccines. Whereas there has been issues of vaccine shortage, UMA says there is need to investigate it as it could be a masked move.

Uganda has received more than 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid vaccines in form of donations.  
It also plans to procure at least 11 million Covid-19 vaccines. Of these, two million are Johnson & Johnson vaccines whereas the nine million will be procured through Covax.  

Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said that the valuation of the nine million doses was based on the cost of AstraZeneca vaccine.

This month, Uganda expects at least 1.2 million doses in donations, of these, 286,080 are from the government of Norway through Covax, 300,000 Sinovac from China and 647,010 Pfizer from the US.

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