The Ministry of Health has said it authorised the National Medical Stores (NMS) to start distributing Moderna and the new batch of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines following reports from many districts that the jabs they received have been exhausted.
By end of Tuesday, a total of 1,720 out of 428,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines government received from the UK and Norway in August, had not been used. The vaccines were received with a shelf life of less than two months.
Daily Monitor, however, couldn’t establish how many vaccines remained unused yesterday. The AstraZeneca vaccines received in August expire today (September 30).
Last week, government received 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca from France and Belgium. These vaccines have a shelf life of six months. These have not expired and they going to be used with effect from Monday next week.
Daily Monitor understands that health officials in Kampala and Wakiso districts have already received the new batch of AstraZeneca vaccines.
A senior official in the ministry of health also told Daily Monitor last evening that the Irish government donated a total of 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Uganda. The vaccines arrive in the country today at 9am.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Health ministry spokesperson, confirmed that 1,720 doses of AstraZeneca which expire today were still remaining in districts by end of Tuesday.
The country has only vaccinated 1.9 million people out of the targeted 4.8 million that should be vaccinated as a requirement to reopen schools fully and also revise Covid-19 restrictions on other sectors.
Of the 32 districts we surveyed on Tuesday, leaders in 20 districts said they had exhausted all the vaccines NMS gave them, while others said they were still remaining with some doses of AstraZeneca or Sinovac.
But when Daily Monitor asked NMS when they plan to start distributing the vaccines, said they would “communicate when they would start the exercise”.
Mr Ainebyoona also told Daily Monitor that they (Health ministry officials) expect districts to start major vaccination campaigns by Monday after receiving the vaccines.
Dr Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health permanent secretary, said last Friday before dispatch of Pfizer vaccines to Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono that there were 2,976,403 doses of vaccines for inoculating more Ugandans in preparation for the anticipated third wave.
The virus has so far killed 3,152 people and infected 123,445 since the outbreak last year.