The ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise has been slowed by the distances that residents have to travel to the gazetted vaccination centres in Lira City.
The city with a population of over 10,000 people, has only six vaccination points; Ayago Primary School and PAG General Hospital located in City East Division and Lira University Teaching Hospital, Lira Primary School, Ober Health Centre IV and Lira Regional Referral Hospital in City West Division.
But area residents say that the vaccination points are located between two and five kilometres from them, which implies that many of the residents, who cannot walk long distances, will not be able to get the much sought after jabs.
Denis Angulu, an electrician and a resident of Adekokwok sub-county and Victor Ogwal, a resident of Angwetagwet in Lira City East Division are both worried that many vulnerable groups like the elderly and Persons with Disabilities may not have the potential to walk to the designated COVID-19 vaccination points since it’s far from their various localities.
Geoffrey Odyek Omara, a 64-year-old resident of Anyomorem parish which is at the extreme end of Lira East Division said the distance he has to cover to reach the vaccination point is so long that he cannot easily manage at his age.
Lira East Division Mayor George Okello Ayo says many members of his community are constrained because of the distance, even though they are willing to get vaccinated. Okello appealed to health authorities to create more vaccination points to ease accessibility and bridge the distance gap.
Early this month, Lira received a total of 6,195 vaccines; 2,792 doses of AstraZeneca and 3,403 doses of Sinovac.