The government of Uganda is rolling out a nationwide vaccination campaign against the potentially fatal yellow fever disease.
Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, made the announcement on Tuesday at an orientation event with members of the country’s media.
The three-phase campaign is expected to conclude in 2021, while preparations for it – such as procuring vaccines and merging awareness campaigns – have already been completed. It was delayed due to existing health crises including COVID-19 and Ebola virus outbreaks. The first phase will focus on 51 different districts within four administrative regions (Lango, Acholi, Rwenzori, and Ankole).
According to Dr. Atwine, 1.4 million doses of vaccines are already in-country to inoculate local residents; in addition, a budget of 28 billion Shillings has been allocated for this purpose from the Ministry of Health’s accounts.
The mass vaccination drive will begin on June 9th before moving through other parts going forward based upon availability thereof; individuals only need one dose and no booster vaccinations are required afterwards.
Yellow fever infections can cause serious illness and, in up to 30–60 percent of severe cases, death according to experts currently, there are no specific therapeutics to treat the disease, but early supportive care increases survival rates.