The Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr.Johnson Byabashaija was on Tuesday the first person to take a Covid-19 jab as the Uganda Prisons Services launched immunization of officers.
Speaking at the function held at the Prisons headquarters along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala, Byabashaija assured the prisons staff and public at large of the safety of the vaccine.
“I am a scientist as you all know and I know how vaccines work. It is the reason I came to take the shot because the side effects of any vaccine and especially in this case are more bearable than getting the virus,”Byabashaija, a professional veterinary doctor said.
“If you are of a more advanced age like me above 60, you are very vulnerable to this virus. Therefore I applaud everybody who was involved in ensuring we get the virus.”
The Commissioner General underscored the crucial role to be played by the vaccine in the fight against the virus.
Speaking about the drastic measures taken by the Prisons to curb Covid-19 within their facilities, Byabashaija boasted that the numbers of positive cases registered were few.
“We stopped visits by relatives and that’s what brought these low numbers. We confined the virus to only the designated reception centres. Anybody who tested positive in the reception centres was automatically taken to the four auxiliary treatment centres which we had established in Gulu, Jinja, Moroto and Mbarara.”
He also applauded President Museveni for guidance and inspiration in the fight against the virus but also the task force for excellent management of the cases 1124 cases got in prison.
“I urge the Prisons staff to get vaccinated . It is better to suffer side effects of the vaccine than getting Covid-19 infection. This is the begging of the end of Covid-19 in Uganda Prisons Services,” he said.
Dr.Byabashaija announced that from now prisons visits will commence after the vaccinations or on presentation of a Covid-19 negative certificate.
According to Dr.James Kisambu, the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons in charge of Health Services, they have received a total of 10,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine to be used for immunizing prisons start against Covid-19 in the first round of the exercise.