Uganda will receive the first doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines in March 2021, Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said.
The premier revealed that 9 million doses have been ordered and vulnerable groups will be the first to be vaccinated when the vaccine rollout gets underway. Rugunda made the revelation during plenary. Rugunda was responding to a question raised by Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa who tasked government to explain Uganda’s preparedness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Government of Uganda through the ministry of Health has worked with the international community through Covax; that is the body trying to get vaccines, especially to the developing countries, working with GAVI and 9 million doses have been ordered. As to when arrival of these vaccines will take place – we want them to arrive as quickly as possible. The tentative time that is expected is around March,” said Rugunda. A recent statement by the ministry of Health indicated that the vaccines applied through the Global Alliances for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) will be secured from drugmaker, AstraZeneca.
The ministry says that the vaccines will cover 20 per cent of Uganda’s population and that other plans are underway to secure additional doses of the vaccine to cover more people.
Uganda is currently experiencing surging new infections, and on Friday the country registered 631 new COVID-19 cases raising the cumulative confirmed cases to 30,702. The number of coronavirus deaths has now risen to 230.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are three COVID-19 vaccines which certain national regulatory authorities have been advised to use and although none have yet received WHO EUL/PQ authorization, nations like United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany have started immunizing their citizens with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.