Covid-19 Vaccination Kicks-off Today With Frontline Medics

MINISTRY OF HEALTH, KAMPALA: The muchly anticipated Covid-19 vaccination will kick-off today with frontline health workers at Mulago National and Entebbe Regional Referral Hospitals.

Speaking to Daily Express, the Health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said the two facilities have treated the highest number of Covid-19 patients since the pandemic hit the country a year ago.

Today’s exercise will kick-start nation-wide inoculation, which officially gets underway tomorrow, but will primarily cater for most-risk populations such as frontline health professionals, teachers and lecturers.

Among priority recipients of the jab will be health workers employed at public hospitals, followed by those in private-not-for-profit and their counterparts working for profit private health facilities.

Dr Alfred Driwale, the programme manager of Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (UNEPI), said national identification (ID) cards will be crucial documents to verify particulars of persons to be registered to receive the jabs.

The plan is to create a ready electronic database that can be linked to and matched with the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) records to weed out outsiders.

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For Ugandans without national IDs, Dr Driwale said driving permits/licences, passports, refugee cards (for refugees), work permits may be used to verify their particulars while in some cases citizens without identification documents could source and present a Local Council official or village health team member as a guarantor in order to be registered.

There will, at least for now, be no privately-administered vaccinations which the government said, among other reasons, is to prevent citizens against exploitation by unscrupulous private sector players.

At a pre-launch and media training session in Kampala yesterday, Dr Driwale said mass vaccination will prevent and reduce severe Covid-19 disease and deaths, sustain national health system response and restore health and productivity of the Ugandan societies and the economy.

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Austria on Sunday suspended the use of Astra-Zeneca vaccines, the type Uganda has received from COVAX to allow investigations into the death of one person and serious illness of another after receiving the jabs, Reuters news agency reported.

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