The World Health Organization-WHO will have the first doses of the
Oxford/ Astra Zeneca vaccine procured under the COVAX facility in February. Indian firm-Serum Institute is mass-producing the vaccine.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the Chief WHO Scientist says despite
reports coming from India that show the country has banned the importation of
the Astra Zeneca vaccine, the vaccine will be delivered on time.
//Cue in; “The COVAX facility…
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A total of one billion doses of the vaccine have been ordered through COVAX.
According to a Serum Institute statement, an estimated 200-300 billion doses of
the Oxford vaccine will be handed over to the WHO and GAVI through COVAX
by December 2021.
As such, Uganda might get the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine a little
earlier than previously thought.
Last month, Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary at the
Ministry of Health, intimated that the vaccine would be arriving in the country
in March or April 2021.
Uganda has ordered an initial two million doses of the vaccine. It
remains unclear how many vaccines the country is planning to procure. With two
doses of the vaccine taken four weeks apart for it to be highly effective in
protecting against the disease, WHO officials say it is crucial for all
countries waiting for the vaccines’ delivery to prepare adequately for the
Dr Mike Ryan, the Executive Director of health emergencies at WHO,
says immunization programmes in different countries will require significant
investments to ensure that they have the necessary resources to ensure that
everyone who gets immunised gets two doses of the vaccine.
//Cue in; “This requires you…
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With the history of poor uptake of second doses of vaccines that
require more than one dose like Hepatitis B, Dr Alfred Driwale, the programme
manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization says that
they are currently working on developing a plan for the roll-out of the
“We are working on a
detailed immunization plan to guide the entire vaccination process. The plan
will look at the training of staff and how we plan to follow up vaccinated
people to ensure that they get their second dose at the right time,” Dr Driwale