Yoweri Idiba, the Assistant Gulu District Health Officer told a quarterly Performance review meeting on Expanded Programme on Immunization for Gulu District at Gulu District Council Hall on Wednesday that a few people embraced the vaccines leaving them idle, yet they had a short shelf life.
Gulu District Health officials
have returned a total of 108,220 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to the Ministry of Health. The vaccines were part
of 166,586 doses of the Moderna that the district received early last month
to boost the mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched in the region.
Yoweri Idiba, the Assistant Gulu District Health Officer told a quarterly Performance
review meeting on Expanded Programme on Immunization for Gulu District at Gulu
District Council Hall on Wednesday that a few people embraced the vaccines leaving
them idle, yet they had a short shelf life.
Moderna COVID‑19 Vaccine multiple-dose vials are stored frozen
between -50º to -15ºC and can be stored refrigerated between 2° to
8°C for up to 30 days prior to first use. According to the Manufacturers guidelines, Moderna vaccine vials should be discarded 12 hours
after the first puncture and they can only be transported at frozen and refrigerated temperatures using a portable unit or container qualified
But Idiba says that the demand for Moderna was low, yet they did not have the facilities to meet the storage requirements. He however says that they are keeping less than
7,000 doses of the vaccine in the district to prepare for the second jab for only those people
who received their first ja.
//Cue in; “we received a…
Cue out…with only 7,000.”//
The Health Ministry launched mass COVID-19 vaccination in Acholi Sub-region in late November targeting some 916,062
people. In Gulu district and Gulu City, health officials had targeted to
vaccine 165,192 people.
But according to Idiba, although
the mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign helped to increase vaccine coverage,
the set targets were not met. For instance,
only 33,386 people out of the targeted 107,472 people in Gulu District and 31,118
people against the targeted 58,440 people in Gulu City got vaccinated.
He however blames this on misinformation spread on social media about the COVID-19 vaccine and
inadequate mobilization that saw few people getting vaccinated.
//cue in: “the low coverage…
Cue out:… vaccine very well.”//
He also disclosed that the cases
of COVID-19 in the district have started going up in both the district and the city
adding that he suspects cases to be linked to the new Omicron variant. Statistics shared by Idiba indicate
that the district currently has 22 active cases of COVID-19 among health
workers (six cases in Patiko Sub-county and 16 cases in Unyama Sub-county).
Gulu Resident District
Commissioner Stephen Odong Latek called on the populace to embrace COVID-19 vaccination
with the economy set to reopen by January next year. He says vaccination cards
most likely may become a prerequisite in accessing essential services and
offices in the country.
The district health department
currently has a stock of only 7,223 COVID-19 vaccines, out of which 7,000 are Moderna
and 223 Sinovac vaccines. William Onyai, Gulu District
Health Educator told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the remaining
vaccines will be utilized in January for those receiving their second dose of
Gulu District has registered a cumulative of 9,059 COVID-19 cases with 219 deaths since March last year. A total
of 2,049 cases underwent treatment at the Intensive Care units at St Mary’s Hospital
Lacor and Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.