On 10th March, the government of Uganda launched the official start of vaccination against COVID-19.
By all measures, this was a milestone as it gives hope to returning to normalty after close to a year since Uganda recorded her first case of covid-19.
In attendence were the target groups considered to be vaccinated first. These include health workers and security groups.
Most of the health workers who turned up at the event work at Mulago hospital and ministry of health. A few of the UPDF officers and prisons also turned up to represent the men and women in uniform.
The journalists who were accredited at the start of the week were eagerly waiting for the launch, with most of them anticipating the president as chief guest.
To them, since there were media allegations that the first family had been vaccinated before Ugandan could get vaccines, claims that were rubbished by the government; this was the opportune time to prove the claims.
However, as the event got underway, the participants were told that the first deputy prime minister Gen. Moses Ali was on his way as chief guest.
At this stage of the event, various dignitaries including the vaccines committee members, ambassadors and ministers had already arrived.
Most of them had made speeches and they all had one message in common, “Covid-19 vaccine is safe. Continue observing SOPs.”
The chief guest read out his speech and his message was the same. He appealed to Ugandans to take the vaccine in good faith because it has been scientifically proven that it is safe. He also emphasized the categories of people that are targeted for the first phase; health workers, security forces, teachers and those above 50 years. At the end of his speech, he officially declared the vaccination exercise against covid-19 officially launched!
Cameras were ready to capture the moment of Gen. Ali being vaccinated. But alas! The Permanent Secretary to ministry of health Dr. Diana Atwine announced that the General was not ready to get the jab.
In fact before the minister would be captured on camera taking the jab as an assurance that the vaccine is safe, Dr. Atwine announced that the chief guest had other engagements and therefore he was to leave shortly.
Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng the minister for health kept her word and she was vaccinated on camera along with the other big shots in the ministry.
However, the question remained, why didn’t Gen. Moses Ali get vaccinated and yet he assured the nation that the vaccine was safe?
Anyways, in anticipation of mass vaccination exercise being over crowded, most of the participants including the media were seen signing the consent forms and getting vaccinated.
Most of shared their pictures of the moment on to their social media accounts. I hope we shall get to know why the general shunned the jab as the vaccination goes on.