1,453 health workers out of the 5,413 in the Acholi Sub Region have shunned taking the vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Health workers are a priority category for COVID-19 vaccinations by the World Health Organisation and are on the list in Uganda.
The health workers are operating in various health facilities in the eight districts of Acholi and Gulu City which are treating the COVID-19 pandemic. According to statistics from the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital (GRRH), 3,960 have been fully vaccinated.
In Agago district 412 have been vaccinated out of the 589, Amuru 240 out of the 348, Gulu City 45 out of 102, Gulu district 720 out of 1,014 and Kitgum district 419 out of 720. The others include 500 from Lamwo district out of 525, Nwoya district 219 out of 337, Omoro 219 out of 303, Pader 311 out of 428.
At Gulu Regional Referral Hospital 162 have been vaccinated out of 315 while St Mary`s Hospital Lacor has a total of 695 vaccinated out of the total 732.
James Elima, the Director Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, says that much as more than half of the health workers have been vaccinated, there are still myths surrounding the vaccines that have pushed away some of the health workers from embracing the exercise.
Elima pointed out that they are conducting awareness on the COVID-19 through the different in-charges to deter the negative attitudes. At least 108 health workers in the Acholi Sub Region have been infected by the COVID-19 since March last year, four of them have since succumbed to the disease and were reportedly not vaccinated.
Dr Paska Apiyo, the Head of the COVID-19 Treatment Unit disclosed says that the majority of the health workers that were infected and succumbed to the disease had not been vaccinated against the virus.
She notes that there is still a need for massive sensitization so people can voluntarily take up the vaccine and boost their immunities against the disease.
In Amuru where 108 health workers have not been vaccinated against the virus, the Resident District Commissioner, Geoffrey Osborn Oceng has said that those who are not fully vaccinated will be turned away from visiting their respective health facilities.
David Onen Acana II, the Paramount Chief of the Acholi Cultural Chiefdom has equally appealed to Ugandans to embrace the vaccines and stop believing in myths surrounding them.