The Ministry of Health on 3rd January, 2021 announced that they are in the process of acquiring the COVID-19 vaccine to administer to the population and control the spread of the virus.
Uganda has recorded a surge in COVID-19 cases in the past, attributed mostly to the political campaign season i.e. up to 88% (22,000) of the total number of cases recorded in the past three months.
The statement which was released through the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwiine, revealed that Uganda will participate in the Global COVAX initiative for COVID-19 vaccine access and has already submitted an application to this effect, which has been accepted by the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI)
COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France in response to this pandemic, bringing together governments, global health organizations, manufacturers, scientists, private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
According to the statement, Uganda will access the vaccine from AstraZeneca.
“Based on the evidence and the recommendations of the scientific advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, Uganda will access the vaccine from AstraZeneca,” the statement read in part.
AstraZeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Cambridge, England, whose vaccine candidate has already been approved.
However, Uganda will also procure vaccines from China when it is approved by the WHO.
“Uganda will also explore other traditional vaccine options such as the one from China, when they receive approval from the World Health Organization (WHO).”
The access of the vaccine will be done in an equitable manner starting with the most vulnerable and those at more risk.