KAMPALA – The government of Uganda is set to procure 18 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
This was reached at by the cabinet meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni held on Monday, February 1.
According to the Ministry of Health spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyona, working with the National Medical Stores (NMS), the ministry has already placed an order for doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical of the same name. The Serum Institute of India will provide Uganda with the doses.
Ainebyona said that the dosses will be used to vaccinate persons from the age of 50 and above, those with underlying health conditions, health workers, security personnel, teachers among other essential special service providers.
Each dose of the vaccines will cost the government USD 7 (UGX26,000). That amounts to USD 126 Million for the 18 million doses ordered. According to the press release on recommendations approved by the Cabinet, the order placed will only be confirmed upon remission of USD 5 Million.
All eligible individuals will receive 2 doses of the vaccine. These will be separated by 28 days.
“Administering of the vaccines will be free of charge,” Ainebyoona said.
The government has also pointed out that the COVAX facility managed by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) has communicated to the government of Uganda, a tentative allocation of 3,553,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines due by the beginning of March 2021.
The press release further indicates that the doses will be available to Uganda on a quarterly basis.
“35-40% will be available in Quarter 1 and 60 -65% available in quarter 2,” the press release on cabinet’s approval reads.
The Ministry Of Health is hopeful that there will be an opportunity for the government to acquire some COVID-19 vaccine doses through the African Union (AU) mechanism being coordinated by the African Vaccines Delivery Alliance.
“Through thus initiative, an initial 270 Million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been secured and are expected to grow,” the release from the cabinet’s meeting reads.
The cabinet notes that there is a growing interest from the private sector to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
“The interest of the Private sector ranges from financing fro vaccines targeting their staff and host communities on one hand to supporting the general service delivery components on the other,” the release reads.
A draft concept note has been developed by the Ministry Of Health to guide the participation of the private sector in the vaccination process.