Cabinet has approved the procurement of Eighteen Million (18,000,000) doses of COVID-19 Vaccines and noted the update on the COVID-19 situation in the country as follows;
The Ministry of Health working together with the National Medical Stores has placed an order of eighteen million (18,000,000) doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, which will be used to vaccinate persons from the age 50 years and above, persons with underlying health conditions, health workers, security personnel, teachers among other essential social service providers.
For each eligible individual, two (02) doses separated by 28 days and at a cost of USD 7, which amounts to USD 14 per person shall be given.
The international transportation and handling costs by National Medical Stores is USD 3 and thus, a total cost for vaccine regimen is USD 17. The order placed will only be confirmed upon remission of USD 5,000,000 (Five Million dollars) as down payment out of the COVAX facility managed by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) has communicated to Government of Uganda, a tentative allocation of 3,552,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine due by end of February or beginning of March 2021.
The indicative doses are expected to be available to Uganda on quarterly basis; 35 - 40% available in Quarter 1 and 60-65% available in Quarter 2.
The indicative allocation is subject to WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of the vaccine; manufacturing constraints, country readiness, the sequence of AMC Participants for the shipment plan, the time taken to place the purchase order, legal regulatory obligations, as well as the supplier's lead time and related logistics; and availability of other vaccines during this period.
The Ministry of Health is on course with preparations to receive these vaccines once they are made available.
According to the Ministry, there is an emerging opportunity of acquiring vaccines through the African Union mechanism being coordinated by the African Vaccines Delivery Alliance and through this initiative, an initial 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been secured and are expected to grow.
Meanwhile, a credit facility supported by Exim Bank is being prepared to guarantee loans for respective countries should they require Q initiative, the Ministry of Health will keep give updates as more information becomes available.
There is a growing interest from the private sector to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination efforts, however their participation will be guided by the National Task force. The interest of the private sector ranges from financing for vaccines targeting their staff and host communities on one hand to supporting the general service delivery components; information systems, logistics management, importation of vaccines and actual participation in vaccination of persons.
The Ministry of Health says it has developed a draft concept note to guide the participation of the private sector detailing the regulatory processes and controls to ensure harmonious implementation of the vaccination activities in Uganda.