By Andrew Irumba
As Uganda prepares to receive the first-ever batch vaccine for covid-19, Media is not on the priority list set to receive the vaccine first, yet they’re always on the frontline fighting together with the health workers, police, Red cross staff among other agencies that respond to emergencies.
It’s upon this background that Chairman of National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and Nex Media Services Ltd CEO Kin Kariisa wrote to Uganda’s prime minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda to revise his list, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and include the selfless journalists who have equally been at the centre of the pandemic as they gave it a 360° coverage.
It’s not the first time media is being forgotten at the time of need amidst their dedicated services, last March at the height of the pandemic, when the president was instituting lockdown, media had been left out on those supposed to move during curfew hours. The president later added it on after several journalists repeatedly complained to him about the need to clear them too, which he wholeheartedly did.
The development comes after the Ministry of Health announcing that the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in the country in mid-March this year and vaccination start by the end of the month.
The Ministry says that the first beneficiaries will be people aged 50 years and above, teachers, security personnel and persons with co-morbidities and all vaccinations will be voluntary.
The 2017 Immunization Act mandates the Health Minister to order the administration of vaccines in case of an epidemic. The law also mandates the minister to make vaccinations mandatory or not. Vaccination is being promoted and one of the best ways to overcome the pandemic.
Meanwhile, TheSpy Uganda has since learnt that COVID-19 vaccines are able to decrease COVID-19 infections by over 40 per cent.