By Goodluck Musinguzi
Uganda’s Ministry of Health is set to receive its first consignment of almost 200,000 dozes of the Johnson & Johnson Covid19 vaccines at 10:30 pm at Entebbe Airport. It’s the first time, Uganda receives vaccines bought with its own money under Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust Mechanism (AVAT) under African Union.
Dr. Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health says the African Union established AVAT in November 2020 to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the African continent, with a goal of vaccinating 60% of each African Union country’s population.
We are glad to be among the first African countries to receive Johnson & Johnson which have paid for. So far Uganda is receiving the highest first batch.
Uganda will get 196,800 doses shy of 3,200 doses to make 200,000, Kenya received 141,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines, Rwanda received a shipment of 108000 doses of Johnson & Johnson, South Sudan received its first consignment of 152,950 doses of the Johnson & Johnson ‘Janssen’ COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Diana Atwine says they are doing everything possible so that they have enough vaccines targeting 4.8 million people so that the country is opened in January 2022.
Some people have been saying Uganda is depending on donations only but it will be receiving its first COVID-19 Vaccine procured consignment of Johnson and Johnson today at 10:30 pm.
The Ministry of Health will bring more vaccines purchased with its money into the country.
According to the ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Johnson and Johnson vaccines are expected tonight have been purchased using the Shs41b appropriated by Parliament.
Additionally, 18m doses of the Sinopharm vaccine have also been purchased using this money and will also arrive in the country as soon as possible.
These vaccines were procured by the government through the African Union and unlike other vaccines where two doses are being administered, with J&J, only one dose will be used.
In his September 22 address, President Yoweri Museveni said the country was set to receive over 11.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of November of which 1.2m doses are from J&J.
Last week, the health ministry received 335,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Ireland, taking the total to over 5.4 million doses, according to Margaret Muhanga, the state minister for primary health care.
As of Oct. 6, 2.2 doses have been administered, according to the health ministry. Uganda’s strategy is to vaccinate 22 million people or 49.8% of the population.