By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: The Ministry of Health has revealed that Uganda has already applied to participate in the Global COVAX initiative for COVID-19 vaccine, which has been accepted by the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative-GAVI.
PRESS STATEMENT: Based on evidence available and recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee, #Uganda will access the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca.
The access of the vaccine will be done in an equitable manner starting with the most vulnerable and more at risk. pic.twitter.com/vq5Y6BRAgi
— Ministry of Health- Uganda (@MinofHealthUG) January 3, 2021
Nearly two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been secured for equitable distribution in 2021 to the 190 countries that have signed on to a World Health Organization-led partnership.
The partnership, known as COVAX, said the supply includes at least 1.3 billion doses for low- and middle-income countries.
“Based on the evidence available and the recommendations of the Vaccines Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, Uganda will access the Vaccine from Astra Zeneca,” the statement issued from the Health Ministry says.
Atwine says that on top of this, Uganda will also explore other traditional vaccines options such as the one from China, when they receive approval from the World Health Organization. The Chinese vaccine which has not yet undergone any peer review is supposed to work by exposing the body’s immune system to particles of the coronavirus that have been grown in a laboratory and are not able to cause the disease.
Last month, the health ministry authorized the importation of 4,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine that were to be used by members of the Chinese community working in the Liao Shen Industrial Park Kapeeka. The effects of the vaccine are still unknown.
According to Atwine, the country is looking at using two vaccines due to the increase in infections in recent months.
“There has been a surge in reported cases of COVID-19 within the country of up to 88 per cent during the last three months. There is an urgent need to access COVID-19 vaccines for the people of Uganda, not only as a mitigating strategy against severe disease and deaths but also a public health measure to enable a safe return to normalcy,” the statement reads.
The development comes after Uganda has confirmed 201 new cases, 9 deaths of COVID-19 tested on 1 January 2021, bringing the cumulative confirmed cases to 35,712.
Results of COVID-19 tests done on 1 January 2021 confirm 201 new cases. The cumulative confirmed cases are 35,712.
🔺 9 COVID-19 deaths reported between 19 December 2020 and 01 Jan 2021 have been investigated and confirmed. pic.twitter.com/PACb0EQJxv
— Ministry of Health- Uganda (@MinofHealthUG) January 2, 2021
The breakdown of the new cases are: 200 contacts and alerts: Kampala (134) Mukono (27) Mbale (8) Jinja (6) Wakiso (8) Kalaki (5) Kapchorwa (3) Mbarara (2) Gulu (2) Ibanda (1) Soroti (1) Yumbe (1) Masaka (1) Luwero (1) and 1 Truck driver at Malaba border.