Uganda: 253,000 Teachers Not Vaccinated

The government yesterday said up to 253,386 out of 550,000 teachers are not vaccinated against Covid-19 even though the reopening of education institutions has been pegged on their vaccination.

President Museveni last week permitted tertiary institutions to reopen in November but deferred the reopening of primary and secondary schools to January, saying this will happen after 4.8 million people, which teachers make part, are vaccinated.

Mr Museveni and his wife, Janet, who doubles as the Education minister have, on several occasions, warned that teachers who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to teach when schools reopen.

Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, yesterday while addressing journalists in Kampala on the Covid-19 situation in the country, said: “We intend to vaccinate 550,000 teachers and those vaccinated with first dose stand at 296,614 of which 102,418 have received their second jab.”

This means the government has been vaccinating about 49,435 teachers per month and if it continues at this pace, it would take around five months, that is up to February next year, to hit the 550,000 target.

The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination started on March 10 with teachers among the prioritised groups.

“We appeal to the teachers who are due for their second jab to ensure that they have it. The vaccines in Kampala are currently available. There is AstraZeneca for those who took AstraZeneca as their first dose,” Mr Ainebyoona said.

Some teachers were vaccinated using the 300,000 doses of Sinovac, which some districts are yet to exhaust.

Despite being prioritised, Mr Ainebyoona said up to 22 percent of health workers, 40 percent of security personnel, and as high as 90 percent of persons, who are 50 years and above, have also not been vaccinated.

To-date, the government has received a total of 5,129,763 doses of vaccines through donations of which 2,152,840 doses have been distributed countrywide and the distribution of the remaining 2,976,923 doses is ongoing.

Mr Ainebyoona said of the doses distributed to districts, 1,906,039 (88.5percent) doses had been administered with 1,361,225 (71.5percent) were given as first dose and 543,814 (28.5 pecent) had been given as second dose.

Mr Museveni last week said the government is expecting 12 million doses of vaccines by end of year to complete vaccination of priority groups.

But many experts are asking the government to work on vaccine uptake by focusing on outreaches as opposed to centralising the exercise in health facilities.

It took the President to send warnings of firing district leaders for the 67,000 doses of vaccines to be exhausted.

Prof David Sserwadda, the head of vaccine advisory committee, which was established by government, told Daily Monitor earlier that government should refine the ways of making the vaccines more accessible, especially to the elderly who may not be able to walk to hospital for vaccination.

Prof Prof Francis Omaswa, the head community engagement sub-committee in the National Covid-19 Task Force, when asked last week about increasing the uptake of vaccines, said the low uptake has to do with hesitancy but mostly poor strategies to engage people.

“Right now, we have established the village Covid taskforces in every Local Council [area]. And all community health workers in villages are being paid an allowance of Shs100,000 per month. So those could round up the eligible people, give the list to the health facilities [health workers reach the people] or help in mind-set change. District leaders need to activate these systems because they are in place,” he said.

Cumulatively, Uganda has registered 123,572 cases of Covid-19 as of September 28, 2021.

A total of 96,097 recoveries have been recorded whereas 3,156 have succumbed to the virus.


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Author : Monitor

Publish date : 2021-10-02 06:06:26

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