By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Danish government has donated a total of 742,000 vaccine doses to the Ministry of Health to assist Uganda in its fight against COVID-19.
A shipment of 258,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca doses arrived on 14 December 2021, with an additional shipment of 484,000 Moderna doses scheduled for arrival on 30 December. Both donations are being shipped through the COVAX facility—the global partnership for universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.
These shipments mark an important step towards the goal of ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. Uganda is currently engaged in an accelerated push to vaccinate all individuals 18 years and above, comprising approximately 22 million people, or half of Uganda’s population.
“These donations from the Danish government to Uganda are a deeply appreciated example of global solidarity in action,” said the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng. “All partners need to work together to end the pandemic. We want to thank the Government of Denmark for the critical support to COVAX that made this donation possible.”
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO), with UNICEF as a key implementing partner. UNICEF, which is the largest single buyer of vaccines in the world, is engaged with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses, while supporting freight, logistics and storage at the global and local levels.
“Denmark is proud to be able to assist Uganda with much-needed vaccines to help enable the country to further reopen—including the crucial reopening of the education sector,” the Danish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen, said. “Our support with vaccines follows a number of earlier support packages that have been provided in close partnership with our strong partners, the Ministry of Health and the UN family in Uganda.”
“As a key COVAX partner, UNICEF Uganda is grateful for the dose-sharing by the Danish government,” said Dr. Munir Safieldin, UNICEF Representative to Uganda. “I urge other governments to consider sharing a portion of their vaccine supply with countries in need to ensure equitable and fast access to COVID-19 vaccines.”
“The COVID-19 crisis is a child rights crisis,” Dr. Safieldin added. “Few children around the world have been spared, and Uganda is no exception. The longer the pandemic continues, the more disastrous its impact on women and children.”
Vaccination is essential to protecting children and families, while building safer communities and societies that are free of harmful vaccine-preventable diseases. As UNICEF deploys vaccines against COVID-19, it has emphasized the importance of children having continued access to existing vaccines to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases alongside COVID-19.