By Gloria Nakiyimba
Uganda has received its initial batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines and is set to roll out vaccination on 10th March 2021.
A consignment of 864,000 doses of the vaccines arrived aboard Emirates airline on Friday afternoon and received by the minister for Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
She was accompanied by a World Health organization country representative, UNICEF representative, heads of foreign missions and members of the vaccine committee.
“Today is a great day and a special day for us here in Uganda as we receive the first consignment of COVID -19 vaccines from the serum institute of India under the Covaxx facility,” said Minister Aceng.
Minister Aceng reveals that for the vaccine to arrive here, Uganda had to complete some requirements.
One of them was to ensure that we have a national vaccine deployment plant which was completed and approved.
The second was to sign an indemnity agreement with the serum institute of India which was done and approved.
The third was to ensure that the National drug Authority approves the vaccine for use in Uganda and it is duly approved., and Uganda can therefore use the vaccine to vaccinate the community
Speaking after receiving the vaccine at Entebbe Airport, Minister for Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng noted that the” vaccine will be used to vaccinate persons providing essential services and who are at high risk of exposure in the line of duty”.
These include Health workers in Public, Private not for profit and private facilities, security personnel; UPDF, Police and Prisons, and teachers in the public and private facilities.
“We will use our tested strength of decentralized health services to deliver the vaccines to the target populations in record time” said Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
Vaccines have been allocated to the districts and the national medical stores will deliver to the districts on schedule.
I expect all the districts to start vaccination following the launch on the 10th March at Mulago national referral hospital starting with health workers.
These will be followed by the vaccination of teachers which will take place between the 16th and 19th March 2021.
Government is targeting to vaccinate 22 million people including the refugee population.