The Ministry of Health is concerned about the low response of elderly persons in the ongoing vaccination campaign against Covid-19 disease, Doctor Allan Muruta, the Commissioner for Integrated Epidemiology and Surveillance services has indicated.
In March this year, the Ministry of Health launched a voluntary Covid-19 vaccination campaign, giving priority to highly at risk populations that include people of advanced age, those with other underlying illnesses, and frontline workers who were found to be exposed to contracting the infections.
But Dr. Muruta says their assessments indicate that although people of advanced age are among the priority population for vaccination, the system has captured just a few of them that have already received the jabs.
Records at the Ministry of Health indicate that a total of 7.8 million doses of vaccines have been administered since the vaccination exercise was rolled out.
The biggest percentage of these vaccines according to Dr. Muruta have gone to other populations, which surprisingly include children and other energetic persons, instead of the elderly who were targeted because of their compromised body immunity towards fighting the diseases.
The World Health Organization-WHO had set this year-end vaccination target of at least 10 percent of the population of each African country. But as of now, records indicate that only six countries in Africa have met the target of fully vaccinating 40 percent of their population.
But Hajjat Anifa Bangirana Kawooya, the State Minister for General Duties in the Ministry of Health while launching the accelerated Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Kalangala district on Thursday, indicated there is still hope that Uganda will also meet the targets any time soon.
She observed that accelerated campaigns that are being launched in the different parts of the country are expected to reach out to all priority target populations within their respective vicinities.
Kawooya says that with the emergence of the new Covid-19 mutant of the Omicron variant, the Ministry is going to roll out strategic interventions to ensure that all people targeted for vaccination are covered.
The Minister for Works and Transport, General Edward Katumba Wamala also challenged Ugandans to voluntarily go out to vaccination centers to receive the jabs, warning them of a possibility of prompting the government to condition its services strictly to vaccinated people.