KAMPALA — The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) an umbrella body of broadcasters has called the authorities to put journalists and other media staff on the priority list for vaccination against COVID-19.
Mr. Kin Kariisa NAB chairman in a letter dated February 26, to Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who heads the national taskforce on coronavirus and copied to Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng and PS health ministry said journalists are frontline workers who interface with all calibres of people in their day today interactions, something that poses a high risk of exposure to infection.
“Because of this, we present that you consider the media to be among priority groups to be vaccinated first in order to foster the contribution of our services without endangering lives,” Dr. Kariisa said.
From the onset of the pandemic, he said that the media has played a key role in informing and sensitizing the nation about covid-19 and continues to do that.
“The inclusion of media personnel among the priority groups, therefore, is justified by the fact that they are similar to other professions such as health professions, teachers, police or fighters that are constantly exposed to the risk of contracting the virus, yet guaranteed contact with Ugandans daily by virtue of their job”.
Uganda ordered 18 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and up to 40% of the shipments are expected to arrive by the end of March, Health Minister Jane Aceng told reporters recently.
The first doses will be used to vaccinate people aged 50 years and above, people with underlying health conditions, health workers, security personnel, teachers and other essential social service providers.
Uganda is also set to receive an extra 3.5 million doses of the same vaccine, developed with Oxford University, from COVAX, the scheme set up by WHO to facilitate vaccine access by poor and middle-income countries, which will be received by mid this month.