President Yoweri Museveni has called on the Ministry of Health to provide informed sensitization messages to the public and encourage mass vaccination in the fight against COVID-19 and a fully reopened economy.
“We said 22 million people should either have gotten 2 doses of the other vaccines or one of Johnson and Johnson. Then a booster for those of my constituency 50 years and above. In my constituency, there are about 3.5 million, plus security personnel, teachers, health workers, Boda Bodas, barmaids/workers etc. This comes to over six million people for the booster. Let the people know,” he said.
The President also said the message about children aged 12 years and above (about 6 million) who are eligible for vaccination should be emphasized.
The President was today speaking at a meeting with the USA Ambassador to Uganda H.E Natalie Brown during which she announced a USA financial support of USD 27million to Uganda’s vaccination efforts.
“I thank the USA government for this contribution. The USA is a friendly country. Our relatives (The Black people) in the USA now are about 45 million there. The American government works with us in many areas. We share the same position against terrorism because of our own experience here. We are a frontline state against organic terrorists. I am very happy that they have made this contribution,” he said.
H.E Natalie Brown said they aim to increase vaccination efforts globally to at least have 70 per cent of the countries populations vaccinated by end of December this year.
“The initial effort there are 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa where the United States of America is focusing its attention including Uganda. The initiative of global Vax goal is to have 70 per cent vaccinated by end of September. We have launched this in eleven countries in sub-Saharan Africa including Uganda where we have donated over 12 million vaccine doses, in addition, to support in terms of oxygen, outfitting emergency centres and funding public health fellows,” she said.
Amb. Brown said Uganda was chosen following its very successful vaccination awareness campaign.
“After the Delta variant, working together, we re-invigorated efforts to get people vaccinated and raise awareness. This made quite a difference and that is why Uganda was chosen for this initiative. The success of that effort made us realize that if we intensify what we are doing we can reach that target by September. We have a total of USD 27million and we are already in discussions with the Ministry of Health to see what is needed in terms of logistics and all it takes to get shots into the arms of Ugandans so that people can go back to activities and engagements that we enjoyed before the pandemic that has affected us all,” she said.
The State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties, Hon. Anifa Kawooya Bangirana said in 2021 the Ministry set a target of having 22 million Ugandans fully vaccinated against COVID19. So far 13.5 million have got the first dose and while 7.4 million are fully vaccinated.
“We still have over 8.7 million people who are not yet vaccinated and 6.1 million who are partially vaccinated. We welcome the support from the American government which is our biggest vaccine donor and urge them to align their funding with the government’s vaccination plan of 2022 for a successful exercise,” she said.