The Director for Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Henry G. Mwebesa has said that the health ministry has set up a team to monitor side effects of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Uganda rolled out vaccination against COVID-19 on March 10, 2021 and since then, several individuals have expressed concern about the safety of the vaccine.
Speaking during the Monday evening SpotlightUG talk show on NBS Television, Dr. Mwebesa said that they are monitoring the vaccination process, abs looking out for any side effects, as and when they arise but the process is smooth so far, with only minor problems.
“We have a dedicated committee monitoring the vaccination process for side effects. The ones that have been reported so far are minor problems of headache which we have handled,” Dr. Mwebesa said.
Dr. Diana Atwine, who is the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health was also present on the show, and she said that the health ministry has guidelines on how to manage any side effects of vaccination, and people should have no reason to worry about.
“The benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks,” Dr. Atwine said.
Dr. Atwine said that the ministry has faced many misconceptions and misinformation around the vaccination which has led to the low uptake of the vaccine.
According to data from the Health Ministry, only about 110,000 people have been vaccinated in Uganda and Dr. Atwine says that this is still very low.
Dr. Atwine said that cases of COVID-19 have started to increase in the past few days and although vaccination was rolled out, the public still needs to remain vigilant in order to avoid another wave of the virus.
The permanent secretary also noted that her ministry is also anticipating about 2 million doses from the COVAX facility in May for all the people who have so far been vaccinated to get their second dose.
“We expect to get more doses in the subsequent months. These doses will target health workers, teachers, and other social workers who are at a high risk of getting COVID-19,” Dr. Atwine said.