Uganda: Over 455,000 Vaccines Will Expire Soon, Says Govt

20 September 2021

The Ministry of Health has asked National Medical Stores to withdraw Covid-19 vaccines from districts which will not have utilised them by September 25.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that out of 2,152,840 doses of vaccines that were distributed to districts, only 1,697,748 doses have been utilised. This means up to 455,095 doses have not yet been administered.

A September 17 letter from the Ministry to all chief administrative officers, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, states that up to 68 districts have balances that will expire on September 30 .

"This is therefore to request you to direct your District Technical Teams and Implementing Partners to immediately plan, mobilise, and conduct outreaches/camps in the most convenient and accessible places for all persons above 18 years," the letter reads in part.

Statistics from the ministry indicate that as of September 13, at least 61 out of 135 districts in the country had less than 70 percent uptake of vaccines while 34 (25 percent) of the districts had less than 60 percent and up to 11 (8 percent) had less than 50 percent.

Terego, Bunyangabo, Buvuma, Amuru, Namisindwa, Namutumba, Nakapiripit, Lwengo, Rubirizi, Madi-Okollo, Butaleja, and Manafwa are some of the districts with very poor uptake of vaccines.

Mr Emmnauel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, last week blamed the low uptake of vaccines on poor coordination at district level.

But Butaleja Resident District Commissioner, Mr Stanley Bayole, said:"We have 1,400 teachers and out of this, 1,300 have been vaccinated. Let's base on facts... we are one of the best performing districts in utilisation of vaccines."

Dr Patrick Odong, the Amuru District Health Officer, said they were yet to report the number of people vaccinated to the ministry.

"The problem is data entry. As we speak now, the doses we have left is only about 876 out of 4,000 doses we had," he said.

Prof David Sserwadda, the government chief advisor on vaccine access and deployment, said the challenge with utilisation of vaccine is reaching the priority groups who may have challenges in moving to health facilities to take the jab.

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