By Ahmed Kiwanuuka
The state minister of state primary health care Hon Margaret Muhanga has said government is going to prioritise 300,000 doses of the 700,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine received from China to mainly target teachers receiving the second jab.
While receiving the second batch of the Sinovac vaccine at the National Medical Store (NMS) on Tuesday, Hon Muhanga noted that the batch will support the ongoing mass COVID-19 vaccination program in order to fully open up the economy.
Hon Muhanga said To-date, Government of Uganda has received 6,631,763 doses of various COVID-19 vaccines, this points to the fact that Government is committed to increasing access to vaccines in order to protect the population from this deadly disease.
“Of the doses received so far 2,575,021 doses have been administered while 3,021,994 are currently being distributed countrywide. Of the administered doses, 1,974,045 have been administered as 1st dose and 600,976 have been administered as 2nd dose” she said.
The Chinese ambassador to Uganda Mr Zhang Lizhong said that the donation is demonstration of 59 years of good bilateral relations between the two countries.
“During the recent 13th BRICS Summit and the first meeting on the international forum on Covid 19 vaccine cooperation, H.E President Xi Jinping stressed that China is committed to building a global community of health for all, that is providing vaccines to the world particularly fellow developing countries” he said.
Mr Lizhong said China will provide a total of 2 billion doses of vaccines to the world.
The Assistant Commissioner, Vaccines and Immunization (UNEP) Dr. Alfred Driwale said the Sinovac consignment will supplement the government’s efforts to reopen schools across the country.
“We had mainly vaccinated teachers with the first 300,000 doses of Sinovac we received, they were due for their second dose. These doses have come timely for us to close the number of teachers to be vaccinated, therefore after these doses we should have no excuse of having teachers who are not vaccinated” he said.
Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam the World Health Organisation representative and head of Mission in Uganda said the world and Africa in particular will be able to defeat the pandemic if countries ensure vaccine equity and vaccinate very many people.
Mr. Paul Okware the NMS Chief Stores and Operations Officer said the facility has full capability to store and supply the vaccines that were received on Tuesday