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UGANDA ANNOUNCES COVID19 VACCINATION CAMPAIGN AMONG CHILDREN 12-18 YEARS, THE CAMPAIGN HAS RESURRECTED DEBATE ON COVID19 AGENDA

UGANDA ANNOUNCES COVID19 VACCINATION CAMPAIGN AMONG CHILDREN 12-18 YEARS, THE CAMPAIGN HAS RESURRECTED DEBATE ON COVID19 AGENDA

By Goodluck Musinguzi

While so many Ugandans think Covid19 infections have been reduced considerably or wiped out, the Government of Uganda has resurrected the debate. In 2021, the government backtracked on this plan to vaccinate learners below 18 years of age. The ministries of education and health had proposed to vaccinate all learners aged 12 and above using the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine, which is approved for use among children of this age group.

In Uganda, close to 100% of the population that is 12 years and older, will accept a vaccine for
COVID-19 when the government of Uganda roles out the activity. Recent statistics show parents support children being vaccinated from school.

Dr Alfred Driwale, the programme manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization says that they are going to stick to their original vaccination plan.

“We are going to vaccinate learners below the age of 18. The Government will announce comprehensive plans at the appropriate time. Our plan had always been clear that we are targeting people aged 18 and above and our priority is health workers, teachers, security personnel, people with co-morbidities and the elderly, but we going to reach our young people” Driwale said.

Ministry of Health has finalized plans to roll out the vaccination of school-going children across the country against Covid19. Under the arrangement, the Ministry plans to vaccinate the learners with or without their parents’ consent.

Do simple things to limit how many people the virus hurts. Get vaccinated and or get boosted. Let us have empathy and protect others. We can defeat this together.

People have relaxed and no longer observe SOPs. In the first lockdown as the church, we went deep into the villages to tell people to put on masks and you would reach a point and you are the only one putting on a mask – Rev James Bukomeko, Bishop Mityana Diocese

People are no longer scared of Covid but are worried about poverty and the rising prices of commodities so they cannot stay home. That is a big challenge – Rev Dr James Bukomeko, Bishop Mityana Diocese (CoU)

“If a big number of Ugandans remain unvaccinated, what will happen is we are going to have problems that affect our physical and social life. If we are joking about this virus we should stop it” -Rev Moses Ssemugooma

When you delay seeking medical assistance, you are increasing the severity of whatever is affecting you. – Tadeo Atuhura (Mildmay Uganda).

The wearing of the masks is going to be an individual responsibility. As we talk now there are some institutions that have maintained virtual interactions.

The faith leaders’ message is so powerful. We all know that COVID-19 is a disease and we can avoid it is by following the SOPs. By articulating this massage through faith leaders, we are creating more awareness. – Tadeo Atuhura (Mildmay Uganda)

Science has shown that people who have been vaccinated do not reach the severe stage. That is why we are telling everyone the vaccine is authentic and it is good for you to take- Mr Tadeo Atuhura

We will get to a stage where COVID-19 vaccination cards are like National IDs that to get in a taxi, travel or public office you will be required to have it – Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa

Our role as religious leaders is to carry on with messages asking people to go for vaccination. We also have to observe SOPs in places of faith. – Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa

Life is a gift from God, so we should protect and save it for ourselves and our loved ones. Carry your mask and sanitiser when you go in public so that you don’t carry the virus to your loved ones at home. – Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa

The Muslims in Luweero district have done a great job in getting vaccinated against COVID-19. – Hajji Abubaker Kamwe

The government then had placed its hopes on donations of Pfizer vaccine from the United States of America. The idea which was first communicated by President Museveni during one of his addresses on the COVID-19 pandemic became one of the conditions for the re-opening of schools.

“There are learners that we want to get vaccinated because they have co-morbidities and are highly susceptible to the disease. Such learners will be vaccinated,” she said. However, officials from the health ministry said that they have clearly set plans to vaccinate all learners below the age of 18 to 12 years.

Driwale wanted the government to follow their earlier plan that was approved by the World Health Organisation prior to the arrival of the vaccines. A source from the health ministry who preferred to remain anonymous said the vaccination of learners is the government’s priority now.

“Right now, we are more focused on vaccinating all Ugandans. We are looking for over 30 million vaccines to vaccinate the target of 22 million people. Children are going to be our priority now,” the source said.

The Pfizer vaccines need to be stored at -20 degrees Celsius. As such, they require specialised cold chain equipment that is easily used in urban areas. Using them in hard to reach rural areas under these conditions would be challenging.

 

About Musinguzi Goodluck

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