Uganda Had Run Out of Covid Vaccines, Says Aceng

A vial of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Minister of Health, Ms Jane Aceng has said the Wednesday night arrival of 175,200 AstraZeneca vaccines through the Covax project was a timely intervention since the country had run out of vaccines.

"Out of the 964,000 doses received initially, we have vaccinated 869, 915 people which is 90.2 per cent of the vaccines given to us. We have a balance of 94, 085 doses in the form of people vaccinated but with their data not yet entered into the system," she said.

Ms Aceng made the remarks while officially receiving Uganda's third batch of Covid-19 vaccine doses donated by the French government at the National Medical Stores (NMS) on in Entebbe, June 17.

"The pandemic has spread to the entire country. The number of admissions and death are very high. We are in a state that needs all hands to come together to address the pandemic," she said.

Ms Aceng said the vaccination program will use strategic campaigns to attract people to get inoculated.

The French Ambassador to Uganda H.E Jules-Armand Aniambossou said 129 countries have so far received more than 81.3 million doses of vaccines through Covax.

"This represents nearly 24 million doses delivered to 44 African countries. As French president Emmanuel Macron has stated on numerous occasions, international solidarity of developed economies must be present to effectively fight the pandemic," he said.

Mr Aniambossou restated President Macron's promise for France to donate at least 30 million doses of various vaccines by the end of 2021.

"These French donations to Covax are part of team Europe's broader effort to support this mechanism where 100 million doses of European vaccines will be shared this year to ensure concrete vaccine solidarity on an international level. Beyond the vaccination, we are also committed to providing oxygen to this country," he said.

UNICEF country representative, Dr Munir Safieldin said the second shipment of 175,200 doses is an addition to the first 864, 000 doses that Uganda received in June- followed by 100,000 doses as a donation from India.

"Hopefully we shall meet again in early August for the planned scheduled arrival of a third shipment of 688,800 doses from the Covax facility," she revealed.

The head of emergency department WHO Dr Alex Chimbaru said the vaccines received will go a long way in addressing the challenges brought by the low numbers of Covid Vaccines.

The General Manager, National Medical Stores (NMS) Moses Kamabare said the vaccines will be distributed to different health centers across the country starting on Friday.

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