Harrison Kagure, the head of Communication at the COVID-19 Treatment Center in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, says only 288 people have turned up for the booster COVID-19 dose in the last three weeks.
There is poor uptake of the COVID-19 booster vaccines at vaccination centers in Mbarara City three weeks after the government
rolled out the mass vaccination campaign across the country.
Harrison Kagure, the head of Communication at the COVID-19
Treatment Center in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, says only 288 people have turned up for the booster COVID-19 dose in the last three weeks.
According to Kagure, they received 5200 doses expecting to get many people. He blames the low uptake on the laxity
of the COVID-19 task force that he says hasn't done enough to mobilize residents for the booster dose vaccination.
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He wants the Mbarara City and Resident District Commissioners to
revitalize the responsibilities of the COVID-19 task forces to ensure the
vaccines don't expire before usage.
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Dr. Celestine Barigye, the Director of Mbarara Regional
Referral Hospital, says that the leaders have resorted to only talking about
other issues and ignoring COVID-19 due to the fewer positive cases. He says as the COVID-19 Vaccine decreases in
one’s body, the immunity also reduces, which requires a booster dose.
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Dr. Mugisha Keirukye Longino, the Mbarara City
Principal Health Officer, says that they have noticed the low turn up at all health
centers involved in the vaccination campaign. He, however, says that they are still challenged as to why people are not
turning up for the COVID-10 booster dose.
According to Keirukye, they have only used 692 out of the 20,110 doses they recieved for the third phase of the vaccination. He says they had a micro plan with set targets but have performed poorly due to poor mobilization strategies and are holding meetings to find a
solution to the low turn-up.
Robert Kanusu, the Deputy Mbarara Resident City Commissioner concurs on the complaints about the laxity of the task forces because
of the new parish Development Model.
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Martha Kyomuhendo, a resident of Ruharo, who we found at Kakoba Health Center IV taking her booster vaccine, said that people have fear of the booster doses because
they lack knowledge.
She wants all the stakeholders to come out and sensitize
the masses on the benefits of booster doses. Mbarara regional referral hospital Covid-19
treatment center has registered 8 admissions, two deaths and 59 patients are
under home-based care.