Kampala | RedPepper Digital – In efforts to fight the pandemic, the Government has taken its vaccination drive notches high and has, since, drawn in private companies and religious institutions to conduct mass Covid-19 vaccination to increase uptake and save thousands of doses from expiry.
The Ministry of Health revealed that the new drive should be able to exhaust the doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, totalling about 67,000, before they expire on September 30.
The ministry says the drive will also ensure high uptake of the 2,976,403 doses of vaccines with the National Medical Stores (NMS) and are yet to be distributed across the country.
The new centres are being opened by respective city and district authorities to increase access to the jabs as directed by the ministry.
Dr Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health permanent on Friday, said in a press statement yesterday that the campaign in Kampala Metropolitan Area, which covers Kampala City, Wakiso and Mukono districts, starts tomorrow and will run-up to Friday, October 1, using AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, and later Sinovac.
Dr Atwine said the exercise starts at 8.30 am at 58 vaccination points distributed across the Kampala Metropolitan Area.
“The rest of the country [will come in] in the following week using Moderna, AstraZeneca and Sinovac,” she said.
“The focus is to vaccinate the 4.8 million persons in the priority groups before the end of December as one of the major pillars of the safe opening of schools in January next year, and in preparation for the anticipated third wave,” Dr Atwine said.
The exercise will target the high-risk groups, which include persons aged 50 years and above, persons above 18 with underlying medical problems, including diabetes, hypertension, heart, kidney, and liver diseases. Other priority groups include health workers, teaching and non-teaching staff, security personnel and students in post-secondary institutions aged 18 years and above at the earliest opportunity.
The government acquired the said 2.9 million doses of vaccines this month through donations from the United States of America, France and Belgium. It is expecting more doses of Sinovac from China.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said the vaccines in NMS stores have a longer shelf-life, unlike the 67,000 the government is racing to exhaust before September 30.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the head of the Immunisation Programme at the Health Ministry, said Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will expire next year around January but will have been all exhausted as the country races to vaccinate 22 million people so as to safely reopen the economy.
Dr Atwine said in the statement that all persons starting the vaccination will receive Pfizer vaccine as their first dose and will, after one month, again receive their second dose of Pfizer.
“All persons who started with AstraZeneca and are due for second dose after two or three months will be provided AstraZeneca in the same locations. Persons who started vaccination with Sinovac and are due for the second dose will be informed shortly on the date to turn up,” she added.
The accounting officer said as plans to exhaust and give more doses to districts continue, districts and other city authorities are advised to use similar camp approaches to reach out to target populations through intensified mobilisation using community structures.
She advised them to use Village Covid-19 task forces, VHTs, LCs, among others, and that leaders should communicate the vaccination points where the camps will be undertaken.
Mr Daniel Nuwabine, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) spokesperson, said they are partnering with Uganda Breweries and Coca-Cola Uganda to increase vaccine uptake.
He said they are still remaining with 2,000 doses out of 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca that they received from NMS, but that 350,0000 doses of Pfizer have been allocated to Kampala City. The government received slightly more than 1.6 million doses of Pfizer on Monday.
“….the executive director of KCCA, Ms Dorothy Kisaka, launched a campaign with partners [on Wednesday] to further the sensitization and mobilisation for vaccination. We applaud Uganda Breweries Ltd (UBL), Coca-Cola Uganda, and Knight Frank, among others, that facilitated this drive,” he said.
Uganda Breweries Ltd said the vaccination happened on Thursday, September 23, and Friday, September 24, at Kyadondo Rugby Club and Samitto Bar and Lounge, Naalya, Alchemist Kitchen and Bar in Lugogo, and Elements Bar and Grill in Ntinda, all in Kampala Metropolitan Area.
The vaccination is happening between 10 am to 2 pm, and the only thing a person needs to receive the life-saving jab is to carry a national ID, according to a joint notice by UBL and KCCA.
“Take note that the Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) vaccination drive continues. We shall resume on Monday with two additional centres; Marie Fifi Recreation Gardens, Mutundwe, and Fusion Auto Spa, Munyonyo. The fight is still on. Let’s get vaccinated,” the beer company said in another tweet yesterday.
Mr Nuwabine, however, said there will be no selling of beers at the bars because they are still closed.
“We are using the bar premises for vaccination because it is where people can converge. People can go and get vaccinated but not necessarily open bars because they are not yet [allowed by government] to open,” he said.
But the list from KCCA indicates that the aggressive vaccination drive will be happening in many places, including Kololo airstrip, private hospitals, markets and churches in the city. The ministry also gave out a list of vaccination centres in Wakiso and Mukono.
A similar arrangement to increase access is also happening in districts upcountry. In Moyo, West Nile, Dr Richard Idro, the president of Uganda Medical Association, said a meeting he held with district leaders on Friday found that the “biggest fear is a rumour that the Covid-19 vaccines will leave one infertile.”
He appealed to government to increase sensitisation about the vaccines. Dr Idro also called for sustained mass vaccination in the country.
The country has so far vaccinated 1,807,767 people using 2.1 million doses of vaccines dispatched to districts by NMS, and a total of 2.9 million are yet to be distributed.
Vaccination centres in Kampala/ KCCA
Central Kisenyi HC IV
Central City Hall Clinic
Central Makerere University Hospital
Central Old Kampala Hospital
Central Kamwokya Christian Community Centre
Central Nakasero Market
Central Owino (St Balikudembe) Market
Central City Square
Central Kololo Airstrip
Central Usafi Market
Central New Taxi Park
Central Old Taxi Park
Kawempe Komamboga HCIII
Kawempe Mulago National Referral Hospital
Kawempe Kawempe National Referral Hospital
Kawempe St Stephen’s Hospital Mpererwe
Kawempe Kisaasi CoU HC
Kawempe Kyadondo Medical Centre
Kawempe Wandegeya Market
Kawempe St Paul P/Sch Kyebando
Kawempe St Peter’s Kanyanya
Kawempe Makerere Yellow P/Sch
Kawempe St Martin’s P/Sch Mulago
Kawempe Bwaise Community Hall
Kawempe Kawempe Muslim P/Sch
Nakawa Kiswa HC III
Nakawa Naguru Hospital
Nakawa Bukoto HC II
Nakawa Butabika Hospital
Nakawa Ntinda P/Sch
Nakawa Kiswa P/Sch
Nakawa Kyambogo University
Nakawa Mutungo Parents P/Sch
Nakawa Okuva Church Mbuya
Nakawa Eden Church Mulimira
Nakawa St Mbaaga P/Sch Kiwatule
Rubaga Mengo Hospital
Rubaga Namirembe Infant
Rubaga YCS Dispensary
Rubaga Kitebi HC
Rubaga Nateete Archdeconary
Rubaga Kigobe P/Sch
Rubaga Lubaga Hospital
Rubaga Namungoona Orthodox Hospital
Rubaga Busega Kcca SS
Rubaga Queen of Peace
Rubaga Kibuye Market
Makindye St Peter’s Nsambya P/Sch
Makindye St Denis Sebugwawo Ss Ggaba
Makindye Seguya Grounds Nkere
Makindye Chairman Ismail Matovu Place
Makindye Amazon Playgrounds
Makindye Kansanga Seed SS
Makindye St John Baptist Kabalagala
Makindye Kibuli Muslim Hospital
Makindye Kisugu HC III
Makindye Kiruddu Hospital
Makindye Nsambya Hospital
Makindye Wentz Medical Centre
Makindye Hope Clinic Lukuli
Centres in Mukono
Mukono District Ground
Seeta C.O.U P.School
Bukerere F Club Ground
Kasenge-Mbalala S. School
Kojja Community Centre
Ntunda C. O. Primary School
Kasawo T. Centre-Agalyawamu
Nakifuma HCIII Field
Kalagi-St Peters S. School
Kyetume T. Centre
Kisowere P. School
Nantabulirwa Trading Centre
Namataba All Saints Church
Nabalanga-Kabawala P. School
Pearl View Medical Centre- Ground
Nsuube C. O U
DFI Ntawo Playground
Centres in Wakiso
Entebbe Mayors Gardens
Nkumba P. School
St Agnes P. School
Bananwa P. School
Kasanje H. Centre
Lubugumu Umea P. School
Wakiso Play Ground
Summit College Kyengera
Nsangi Primary School
St Steven C. O. U Nansana
Kiira P. School
Wampeewo P. School
Vaccines available in NMS stores: 2,976,403 doses
Vaccine and source Doses received/distributed
Moderna from the US Government 647,080
Pfizer from US Government 1,674,270
AstraZeneca from Belgian Government 153,900
Astrazeneca from French Government 501,153
Sub-total at hand for the campaigns 2,976,403
Vaccine and source Doses received/distributed
AstraZeneca from COVAX facility 864,000
Astrazeneca from Indian Government 100,000
Astrazeneca from French Government 175,200
Astrazeneca from Norwegian Government 286,080
AstraZeneca from UK Government 299,520
Sinovac from Chinese Government 300,000
Astrazeneca from Norwegian Government 128,560
Sub-total (March-August) 2,152,840