Vaccination against Covid-19 resumed yesterday in several districts across the country a week after the contingent of 175,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a donation from the French government arrived in the country.
However, according to health officials, priority was given to those receiving the second jab and health workers, as per the Ministry of Health directives. This meant that those who went for the first jab were told to go back and wait for another batch of vaccination doses.
The delivery of the vaccines to districts started last weekend, but some districts said they received the stock on Sunday.
However, some health experts disagree with the policy of prioritising people who are due for the second dose.
Dr Ekwaro Obuku, a former member of the Uganda Medical Association, said: “I think the strategy should be to give more people a bit of protection than to give few people full protection, the more you give the better,” Dr Ekwaro said.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the manager of Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunisation, said the Health ministry had to undertake a delicate balancing act.
“We are also managing many things that is one way of looking at it. Another way is the vaccine interval…some people have crossed three months and very anxious. You remember the people who came first are those who knew they were vulnerable so they are people at highest risk,” Dr Driwale said.
He added: “We already started the protection and we need to complete it. We will come to younger groups later because their ability to fight back is higher. Enrolling more people on the first dose is what we may consider in subsequent doses.”
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said all districts have received or were having some doses of the vaccine remaining from the first batch and that the Ministry has told districts what to do.
“The districts will have a plan on how to do it [resume the vaccination]. We have guided them. Most of them have a few doses that should be depleted in a few days,” he said.