The Ministry of Health has opened four vaccination sites including City Square, Old Taxi Park, Namboole Stadium and Mayor’s Garden in Entebbe in order to avoid expiry of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The development follows the low uptake of the vaccines in the Kampala Metropolitan area while they face expiry.
According to Dr. Immaculate Ampaire the Assistant Manager of the Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization Programme-UNEPI, they selected the four centers due to their accessibility by a big number of people presumed to be at risk of infection such as taxi drivers.
So far, Uganda has only administered 2.3million doses, failing to hit the September target set by the World Health Organization for countries to have vaccinated at least ten percent of their initially targeted population.
Uganda’s target was to immunize about 21 million people including health workers, security operatives, the elderly and those that live with pre-existing conditions that lower their immunity by November.
However, by the end of September, the country had vaccinated less than five percent of the targeted population.
Now, Ampaire says that apart from hitting the targets, the Ministry wants to reach as many people as possible since the vaccines so far received have a very short life span, the majority expiring by the end of October.
Uganda has a stock of 5,690,363 COVID-19 vaccine doses. The Ministry received 1,674,270 doses of Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccines, which need special storage and should be used within thirty days. Only 570,000 Ugandans have been fully vaccinated with two jabs.