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WHO to Receive COVAX Astra Zeneca Vaccine Next Month

According to the UN health agency, one billion doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine will be delivered through COVAX. Distribution of the vaccines is expected to commence to start in February
The Oxford Astra Zeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

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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…

  Cue out…the countries.”//

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 vaccination process.

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…

Cue out…get it.”//

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 vaccination exercise.

 “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 said.

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