Uganda is developing its own vaccine which will be better than the imported ones, President Yoweri Museveni has said. He however says there are some people who were attempting to frustrate the process so as to facilitate buying from the western world.
“These people wasted a bit of our time importing equipment, then even the outsiders were saying you Africans, why do you want to make your own vaccines? You wait and we sell you. But we said no, we are going to make our own.
My children are very well educated, they are on the right track. So, we shall make our own vaccine and ours will be better than some of these vaccines because our children are working on the new virus. So, what we are targeting is new version” Museveni says.
The president made the statement while addressing the nation on Sunday night.
He noted that the vaccination exercise which started on March 10th will continue across the country, with the vaccines that have already been received Oxford made AstraZeneca. He says they are also looking into the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, as well as the Chinese and Russian vaccines.
Mr. Museveni noted that the reason he hasn’t been vaccinated is because he is being careful and yet to pick which vaccine to use.
“The reason I have not been vaccinated is because, first of all I am quite careful and well protected by the system here. Secondly, I am also looking at which of the vaccines should I go for? The Johnson & Johnson, the Chinese, the Russian, ours will take longer but it will come also. Maybe it will be used in the future” the President revealed.
He explained that the world is getting out of the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a vaccine, but that Uganda is also working on therapeutics, on the treatment. He noted that currently, there is something interesting going on as some patients who were being treated have been cured.
“All of the patients our people have been treating have been cured by combining the standard treatment which they had been using plus our own. And all of them have been healed. So, I asked my people, why do you use a combination of old and new? They said we don’t want to take risk, because we are not yet sure that our new would treat, so it was better to use what was already used plus ours” the President added.
He explains that when asked how they would know if the new treatment worked, they scientists told him that the difference is seen in number of days patients spend on treatment before being cured. If the old treatment took 8 days to work, it should take lesser days when combined with the new one, to show how effective it is.