Uganda through the National Medical Stores has this Thursday afternoon received an additional consignment of 655,053 doses of Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Of these, 501,153 doses are donations from the French government while 153,900 doses are from the Belgian government. This is the second consignment of COVID-19 vaccines from the French government to Uganda after the first batch arrived in June this year, comprised 175,200 AstraZeneca doses that came through the COVAX Initiative, bringing a total donation from France to 676,353 Covid-19 vaccine doses while this is the first batch from Belgium.
The consignment was received by The Minister of State for Health Margaret Muhanga at the Entebbe International Airport who implored all Ugandans to turn out and get vaccinated.
Moses Kamabare, the NMS General Manager noted that this batch of AstraZeneca will be distributed to districts that have utilized all the previous vaccines but no district will be given additional doses without utilizing the old stock. In his national address last evening, President Museveni said by the end of December, Uganda will have received 12 million odes of vaccines including Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm and Pfizer that will cover six million people in the country’s efforts to fight the deadly virus.
Uganda aims at vaccinating 22 million people with a new directive that all those above the age of 18 will receive the vaccine. Early this week, Uganda has received a consignment of more than 1.6 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as a donation from the United States government which was also the second consignment of Covid19 vaccines that the Biden administration sent to Uganda.
Uganda has planned to reopen institutions of higher education in November and other schools in January next year provided teachers, support staff and students above 18 are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to President Yoweri Museveni’s communication on Wednesday.
He said out of the targeted 550,000 teachers, 269,945 have already received their first dose of vaccines and 96,653 have received the second dose, with 280,055 yet to be vaccinated. Museveni said when schools reopen, the Ministry of Education and Sports will support head teachers to carry out surveillance and early reporting of suspected cases.
Parents and grandparents would be exposed to health risks if the government reopens schools without serious consideration, the president said, adding the country experienced similar risks during the second wave of the pandemic in June. On June 6, Uganda closed schools and institutions of higher education after it recorded a large number of COVID-19 cases.
As of Wednesday, the country has registered 122,502 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,135 related deaths since the pandemic broke out in the country in March last year.