Uganda will import 5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines next month after the discovery of new COVID-19 variants in the country, President Yoweri Museveni has said.
In a televised address to the nation late Friday, Museveni said the vaccines will be used to vaccinate at least 80 percent of the 5.5 million elderly and people below 50 years, with underlying medical conditions that are at high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.
Uganda targets to vaccinate more than 21.9 million people who face the highest risk of the infection, including the health workers, teachers, social workers and security personnel, elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
“The government is working hard to ensure we bring another 5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine before the end of May to complete the threshold vaccination and ensure that those vaccinated before get the second booster dose,” said Museveni.
“Vaccines are the most effective intervention we have against COVID-19. The government and partners are working hard to bring vaccines to most adult Ugandans to protect them and to support us to reopen the economy and get back all our children to school.”
Uganda has so far received 964,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX vaccine sharing program and the Indian government.
As of April 16, a total of 220,893 people had been inoculated with the first jab of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health statistics.
The country has reported the emergence of the highly transmissible COVID-19 variants which were first reported in Britain, South Africa and Nigeria.
The Ministry of Health data showed that as of April 16, Uganda had registered a cumulative total of 41,340 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 40,898 recoveries and 338 deaths