Catherine Russell, the UNICEF Executive Director predicts that if immunization coverage continues to decline at the rate it currently is due to COVID-19, other outbreaks of immunizable disease will be recorded.
According to the new guidelines released ahead of World TB celebrations on March 24, children with mild TB will be treated for four months while those with severe TB will be treated for six months using new drugs.
According to the WHO Africa region office, the African continent has so far received more than 587 million vaccine doses;58 percent through the COVAX Facility, 36percent from bilateral deals and percent through the Africa Vaccines Acquisition Trust (AVAT) of the African Union. In January 2022, 96 million doses were shipped to Africa, which is more than double that of six months ago. However, despite such vaccine stocks, countries are still not vaccinating. So far, only 11 percent of the people on the continent are vaccinated
The minister of health, Dr Jane Ruth Acenf says the variant has not yet been detected in Uganda. She however adds that as a measure to ensure early detection of the variant, genome sequencing will be carried out on all COVID-19 positive tests of travelers entering the country by land or air.
The vaccines manufactured under the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE) are using different technologies; One is using the ChAdOx1 also known as the Adenovirus-vectored technology, used in the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine while the others are using the Messenger RNA technology (mRNA) that was used for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
The first phase of the vaccination targeting health workers, teachers, security personnel, the elderly, and persons above the age of 50 was budgeted to cost Shillings 1.3 trillion. The second phase that is still ongoing and targets communities reporting high infections is budgeted to cost Shillings 46 billion.
According to Ugandan scientists, the virus keeps on mutating due to pressure from vaccines and therapeutics. They say the only way Ugandans will be able to protect themselves is by adhering to SOPs and getting vaccinated using newer versions of vaccines formulated to deal with new variants
But, the CDC says that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines take a few hours to thaw and must be administered quickly once they are no longer being refrigerated. The Pfizer vaccine is only stable for six hours at room temperature while a punctured Moderna vaccine vial is viable for up to 12 hours.
The system will be able deployed in all parts of the country and will be able to detect future epidemics in the country. As part of the new system, health workers and members of the community will be able to report suspicious diseases early which will then be monitored by epidemiologist at the command center in Kampala
Data from WHO shows that only three countries; South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia have already met the target while two other countries, Seychelles and Comoros are on point. The countries doing well have been able to vaccinate many people by securing vaccines directly and not relying on donations
According to health ministry officials, the available vaccines will be used to fully vaccinate 150,000 people who are in organized groups. Groups that are being targeting for to get the vaccine include; soldiers, persons working in organizations or those belonging to associations of persons with co-morbidities
Samalie Namukose, the Assistant Commissioner for Nutrition in the Health Ministry, says that the available regulations are weak and obsolete. She says that with the influx of breast milk substitutes, there is need for tougher laws to dissuade manufacturers and distributors from dumping their products on the Ugandan market.
With less than 1.6 million people who have received atleast one jab of a COVID-19 vaccine, the government sis undecided on which people should receive the China's Sinovac vaccine doses that were recently donated to the country
Scientists say the variant is responsible for the high number of infections, severe forms of the disease and deaths that have been registered during the second wave. According to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, in the month of June, over 30,000 infections of the disease have been reported. This number is almost half of the total number of infections that have been reported in the country since last year in March. More than 300 people have succumbed to the disease in the second wave
mRNA technology is a new type of vaccine development where the body is taught or tricked to make proteins that trigger immune responses inside our bodies, which protects people from getting infected. Old vaccine technologies on the other hand, work by introducing a weakened or inactivated germ into the body.