National Medical Stores (NMS) has this Wednesday afternoon received an additional 655,053 doses of Astrazeneca Vaccines.
Of these 501,153 are from the French government while 153,900 doses are from the Belgian government.
The Minister of State for Health Margaret Muhanga implored all Ugandans to “turn out in large numbers and get vaccinated.”
She said this was the surest way of protecting lives against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
National Medical Stores is charged with buying, storing and distributing medical supplies to all government health facilities.
As part of its mandate, NMS stores all Covid-19 vaccines before they are distributed to district vaccine stores for immunization.
Uganda has 2,294,000 doses of vaccines available at NMS out of 11,978,840 million doses expected by the end of December 2021.
Government hopes to scale up vaccination for approximately 22 million of the eligible Ugandans aged 18 years and above in the coming months.
President Museveni on Wednesday eased restrictions on social places such as churches and mosques but kept a lock on bars until over 4.5 million of the targeted population is vaccinated.
The population comprises health workers, teachers, security personnel, elderly persons of 50 years and above, those below 50 years with comorbidities and 330,000 students in post-secondary institutions aged 18 years and above.
Uganda expects to receive about 12 million doses by December 2021.
NMS General Manager Moses Kamabare said districts are mandated to exhaust their vaccines before receiving new doses.
“No district will receive vaccines until we are sure that vaccines supplied three weeks ago have been fully used,” said Kamabare.
“Astrazeneca is globally accepted contrary to social media rumours about travel restrictions for those who have used the vaccines.”
Kamabare appealed to local authorities to rally masses to get vaccinated without wasting time.
He said Pfizer will be distributed in the Kampala Metropolitan area because they require ultra-cold storage facilities which are not available in the countryside.
Uganda has so far received 1.6 million Pfizer doses.
Another 3.4 million doses of Pfizer from the United States will arrive in the country at the end of October.
Belgium will provide 344,000 doses of AstraZeneca while China will provide 700,000 doses of Sinovac.
Museveni revealed that 1.2 million doses of Johnson and Johnson will also arrive at the end of October while 2 million doses of Sinopharm will arrive at the end of September.
COVAX facility will provide 1 million doses of AstraZeneca in mid October while Belgium will provide 100,000 doses Johnson and Johnson at the end of November.
“By the end of November, we will have received at least 12 million vaccines. These vaccines will cover more than 6 million people. Johnson and Johnson will cover 1.2, the others will cover 5 million (people),” said Museveni on Wednesday.