According to the healthministry, two million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be procured through the COVAX facility while the other 16 million doses will be procured from manufacturing companies. So far, we have approached the manufacturers of the Moderna, Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines
Uganda has joined the pursuit for COVID-19 vaccines targeting 18 million doses for the first round of vaccinations.
According to the health ministry, two million doses of
the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be
procured through the COVAX facility while the other 16 million doses will be
procured from manufacturing companies. So far, Uganda has approached the
manufacturers of the Moderna, Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines.
A source from the health ministry who preferred to remain
anonymous told URN that nine million people will get the initial first dose. The initial vaccines will be received by health
workers, vulnerable persons and people most at risk to get infected with the
"We are looking for other avenues where we can
get other doses. We do not want to put all our eggs in one basket and so far we
know that we shall be able to immunize nine million people with the first doses that
we shall get," the source said.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the Programme Manager of Uganda
National Expanded Programme on Immunization-UNEPI said that the country is in the final stages of acquiring the required doses.
"We are on the waiting list of getting vaccines.
But as we wait we are preparing for the roll-out of the vaccine. We are going to train health workers on how to inject the vaccine and also make plans on transporting them," he said.
Unlike the Astrazeneca vaccine that does not require
temperature below zero degrees and can be stored in a regular fridge, the other
vaccines require temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius. Dr Driwale says
the country has been carrying out several mass immunization campaigns and has
in place the necessary logistics to oversee COVID-19 immunization.
"Unlike the Europeans, we have been carrying out
mass campaigns for a long time. We have a cold storage chain system already in
place throughout the country. We do not foresee any problems when it comes to
storing the vaccine," he said.
Earlier this month, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine said that the health ministry was not sure about how much money was needed to procure the vaccines and carry out vaccination. Initial budgets from the ministry show that 1.4
trillion Shillings is needed for the country to carry out the first phase of
While the health ministry has not revealed how much it intends to
spend on procuring the vaccines, the prices for the vaccines on the open market
vary. The AstraZeneca vaccine is the cheapest at USD 4, an equivalent of 14,800 Shillings followed by
the Sinopharm vaccine at USD 14 an equivalent of 51,700 Shillings. The Pfizer vaccine costs
USD 20 which is equal to 73,803 Shillings while the Moderna's vaccine cost USD 33 (121,786 Shillings)
Each of the vaccines requires two doses. Dr Driwale says
they are going to register all persons who get the vaccine to enable easy follow up so that all persons can get both doses.
"We are working on ways that we can make sure
that all vaccinated people get both vaccines. We are thinking of registering
everyone who gets the first dose for easy follow-up. We shall take their phone
and National ID details for easy follow-up," he explained.