The Ministry of Health is concerned that the country could lose out on its latest Covid-19 vaccines as these are set to expire next week without being utilised.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona said that the latest consignment expires on September 30, 2021 and losing the doses to expiry might dent the country’s consumption commitments made at a global level.
Ainebyoona made these remarks while addressing the media at the Uganda Media Centre.
“The expiry date for the latest vaccine to be distributed is September 30, 2021. It is therefore urgent that all districts speed up proper utilisation of available doses,” Ainebyoona said.
Ainebyoona appealed to all districts to take a number of measures and activities to ensure that the vaccines do not expire at the facilities.
Among the suggested measures, Ainebyoona sId that district health officials should quickly review their vaccination plans to ensure that no dose is left in the district by the expiry date.
Ainebyoona also urged health centres to work with partners to establish open ground vaccination sites in all townships and municipalities or divisions.
“Develoop an implement a sharp social mobilisation plan with partners, engage parish chiefs to follow up with LC1 and VHTs on the persons above 50 years,” Ainebyoona added.
Ainebyoona also said that people above 18 years but outside the high risk target groups should not be turned away if they present themselves for vaccination do that the vaccines could be utilised.
He also suggested that all patients of chronic illnesses at chronic care clinics should be encouraged to take up the vaccine.
The health ministry mouthpiece said that COVID-19 vaccination remains free of charge and urged the public to take up the vaccines, because “they are safe.”
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, only 1.6 million people have been vaccinated with at least their first doses.
The ministry is looking at vaccinating at least 22 million Ugandans before the COVID-19 restrictions that are currently in place can be lifted.