Uganda on 13 November received 1,904,140 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, donated by the Canadian Government and shipped via the COVAX facility, —the world’s facility for universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The arrival marks an important step towards the goal to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally. Uganda is targeting the vaccination of nearly half of its population, which is about 22 million people, in a phased manner. Currently, the eligible population comprises individuals 18 years and above.
“This first donation of the Canadian-financed vaccines to Uganda is a significant moment and a concrete example of global solidarity in action,” said the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng. “We especially want to thank the Government of Canada for the timely and critical support they made to COVAX to make this possible,” she added.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as a key implementing partner. UNICEF is handling the procurement and delivery of the vaccines and related supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat that does not recognize borders. “Canada is committed to a global effort to stop COVID-19 to address its devastating impacts on people around the world. Since February 2020, Canada has committed over $2.5 billion in international assistance in response to COVID-19,” said acting High Commissioner to Uganda David Da Silva.
“This latest contribution of 1.9M doses of Moderna to Uganda is an example of Canada’s commitment to supporting equitable access to safe and effective vaccines everywhere. We are proud to work with the Government of Uganda to end this virus together. As we’ve said before ‘No one is safe until everyone is safe,’” he emphasized.
“The COVID-19 crisis is a child rights crisis. The longer the pandemic goes on in Uganda, the more intense the impact on women and children. As a key COVAX partner, UNICEF Uganda appreciates the dose-sharing by the Canadian Government. The arrival of this shipment in Uganda is very timely as the demand for vaccination is currently exceeding the available supply of vaccines,” said Dr. Munir Safieldin, UNICEF Representative to Uganda.
I urge other governments to push equitable and fast access to COVID-19 vaccines, including through donations like this one,” reinforced Dr. Munir Safiedin, UNICEF Representative to Uganda.
All partners need to work together to end the pandemic; only a truly global response can protect health services and the people children rely on. In this race against time to end the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccinate people, it is critical that as many safe and effective vaccines as possible are available to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
Vaccination is key to protecting our children and ourselves and building safer communities and societies that are free from harmful vaccine-preventable diseases. As we deploy vaccines against COVID-19, it is critical that children continue to have access to existing vaccines in order to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases alongside the COVID-19 pandemic.