Covid-19 vaccine (photo via TW//Rakwesiga)

The Minister for Health Jane Ruth Aceng has launched #Covid-19 Vaccination campaign. The vaccination campaign was launched at Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal Hospital where the minister and a number of government officials received their first dose.

Last week, Uganda through the Ministry of Health received the first 864,000 doses of the AstraZeneca #Covid-19 vaccine donations from COVAX facility and an additional 100,000 doses donated by the government of India.

Speaking at the launch, the minister said the Covid-19 vaccines have been distributed to over 40 districts and by close of business today, the number of districts that have received the vaccines will be 55.

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Vaccines will be given to eligible persons eight weeks (56 days). However, this can be extended up to 12 weeks as recommended by WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunizations.

The vaccination campaign target in Uganda stands at 21,936,011 people equivalent to 49.6 percent of the population of Uganda compared with the target population earlier communicated (60 percent and 27,000,000 people) in line with WHO and Africa CDC global guidance.

The Minister said the vaccines available are not yet authorized for use in persons younger than 18 years of age in whom research is still ongoing. If vaccines become available for below the age of 18, the ministry will update its plan accordingly and inform the public.

The #Covid-19 vaccine is given intramuscularly on the left upper arm – 0.5mls each. All health workers from public, private not for profit and private health facilities will be the first group to receive the vaccines.

The second group will be the teachers. “All teachers will be required to access vaccines from the nearest public health facility starting from HC III up to a National Referral” Hospital.

The third category will be all persons above 50 years of age. The next category eligible for vaccination are the 18 to 50-year olds who have the following underlying health conditions: hypertension, Diabetes, cancer, organ diseases such as Liver, Kidney or heart disease. Each category will be alerted on the days on which to report for vaccination

All persons eligible for vaccination will be required to provide a National Identification Card in the case of Ugandan citizens or a passport in the case of non-Ugandans.

“Government Health center IIIs, IVs, District Hospitals, Regional Referral, National Referral Hospitals and specialized Institutions have been designated as vaccination service points in each district and City. Eligible persons will access their vaccines from any of these points,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary, Diana Atwine also received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and applauded scientists who never had a holiday amidst the outbreak of the pandemic. “Scientists commitment, sacrifices and guidance are highly valued and appreciated. It’s been a combined effort with various stakeholders to save live,” she said.