Breaking

What is Govt COVID 19 Vaccine Strategy, Civil Society Asks

Kembabazi also says that they want the government not to rely on the private sector for vaccination of Covid-19, saying that government should have picked lessons from the COVID-19 testing and treatment experience where costs for testing and treatment once outsourced to private sector are only affordable by a few .

Audio 2



As the country launches its first COVID -19 cure trials, Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) want government to comprehensively brief Ugandans on the progress in obtaining the Covid-19 vaccine besides the occasional remarks by government officials.

In their statement, led by the Initiative for Social and Economic Research (ISER), they note that they are concerned about the government’s readiness in relation to the access and allocation of Covid-19 vaccines.

They specifically demand for a clear and coordinated information on the country’s progress and its preparedness for covid-19 vaccine.

They argue that while government plans to receive AstraZeneca vaccine which is one of the approved vaccines from COVAX, an initiative set up world health organization to pool financing for the vaccine with a focus to enabling access by low and middle income countries, this is not enough.

Salima Namusobya the Executive Director Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) says that no country will receive enough dozes from COVAX to vaccinate more than 20% of its population.

“COVAX will only allow us to get what is left over when rich countries have purchased the vaccine “Namusobya adds.

The statement also say that government should explain how the vaccine will be financed cautioning government against incurring further debts but concentrate on negotiating for grants and using the money from the consolidated fund.

//cue in;’’So there is …

Cue out…with the pandemic’’//

Allana Kembabazi the programs manager of Right to Health says government needs to come up and tell how much will be required per dosage or whether it will be free for the population to access it.

Kembabazi also says that they want the government not to rely on the private sector ,saying that government should have picked lessons from the COVID 19 testing and treatment experience where costs for testing and treatment once outsourced to private sector are only affordable by a few.

She says that government should maintain strong stewardship of the process by regulating the private sector to ensure that quality is maintained and profits are not prioritized over public health during vaccine distribution.

//cue in;’’And we need…

Cue out…in this situation’’//

The ministry of health says the initial aim of the initiative is to have two million doses of vaccines available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect people at the high risk end, the vulnerable people and the essential workers (healthcare workers).

On the issue of price per dosage the Permanent Secretary ministry of health Diana Atwine when approached by URN was not sure about it. However, Atwine indicated that Uganda needs 405 million United States Dollars to get AstraZeneca but never disclosed the unit cost per dose.  

Keywords