The Chairperson of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory in Uganda, Prof. David Sserwadda has urged Ugandans to maintain COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) despite vaccination being rolled out, as this does not save one from being infected.
The country has today, Wednesday 10th, 2021, rolled out its first phase of the Coronavirus vaccination with health workers at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
Speaking on NBS Television’s Morning Breeze on Wednesday about the AstraZeneca vaccine that is expected to be administered to at least 49.2 percent of Uganda’s population at the end of the different phases, Prof. Sserwadda said the vaccine prevents one from getting the severe illness, but not from getting infected.
“If you are getting vaccinated, you still have to carry out all the standard operating procedures that are in place,” Prof. Sserwadda said.
Uganda confirmed her first positive case of COVID-19 in March last year and Prof. Sserwadda said rolling out of the vaccine, in nearly one year, is exciting and gives hope that Uganda will recover from the pandemic soon.
” It is exciting because the world has produced a vaccine against the severe manifestation of the disease (COVID-19) in one year. This is the first time it has happened,” Prof. Sserwadda said.
Prof. Sserwadda said that the health ministry is ‘reasonably comfortable that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is fairly safe.’ He however reiterated that taking the vaccine will be voluntary.
” I don’t think it would be advisable to force. There is always hesitancy when any vaccine is introduced. It would be prudent that all health workers take this vaccine very seriously,” Prof. Sserwadda said.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is not without side-effects, but Prof. Sserwadda said that the benefits outweigh the ‘minor side-effects.”