Uganda will start COVID-19 vaccination next week after the anticipated arrival of 864,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines on Friday, the ministry of Health has said.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday about the deployment plan, Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said that drugs are part of 3.5 million doses that are expected from the COVAX facility, an entity set up by the World Health Organization and GAVI the Vaccines Alliance to guarantee equitable access to the drug by all countries.
By the end of the year, Aceng said the country will have received 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the facility. Delivered in two doses of 0.5mls each in a space of eight to twelve weeks, the doses will initially be administered to health workers in both government and private hospitals whereby vaccination centers will be established at the government’s health centre IIIs, IVs, and hospitals across the country.
With glaring fears of the vaccines ending up in the wrong hands, the minister said they are using the army and police to guard the logistics which will be harmonized by an online system that will balance daily usage.
To date, a total of 1,892 health workers have been infected with COVID-19 and nine have succumbed to the virus. After the vaccination of an estimated 150,000 health workers, the ministry will vaccinate teachers and the security operatives and those of advanced age will follow.
Overall the ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine says they have planned to spend Shs 582 billion on the entire exercise that targets to cover 49% of the population in Uganda aged 18 years and above. Currently, the ministry is training health workers that will be involved in the exercise whereby each district will be allocated teams of 30 health workers for the exercise.