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Uganda applies for Astra Zeneca Covid19 vaccine through GAVI as cases rise

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general of health services at Uganda's health ministry. Courtesy Photo

The director general of health services at Uganda’s Ministry of Health (MoH), Dr Henry Mwebesa, has revealed the country is at an ‘advanced stage’ of acquiring the Oxford/Astra Zeneca Covid19 vaccine.

The country’s Covid19 infections and deaths have risen in recent months.

Cases are expected to further increase since the country is in an electoral season, with some candidates organizing mass rallies.

MoH officials have severally warned complacency would worsen the situation since more cases would overstretch an already ailing healthcare system.

As of December 09, 2020, the latest figures from MoH put the cumulative infection toll at 23,860 after results of Covid19 tests done on December 07 confirmed 660 new cases.

The newest cases were reported in the districts of Kampala (254), Wakiso (92), Kisoro (48), Sheema (47), Mbarara (33), Masaka (47), Buhweju (26), Lyantonde (18), Jinja (20), Kagadi (17), Rubirizi (10), Luwero (11), Moyo (6), Masindi (5), Hoima (5), Buikwe (5), Gulu (3), Kazo (3), Kayunga (3), Kamuli (2), Bushenyi (2), Buyende (2), Kiruhura (2), Kakumiro (1), Buyende (1), Arua (1), Ngora (1), and Nakaseke (1).

The previous day’s update indicated that 701 cases had been reported.

Deaths stand at 207 while 9,510 recoveries have been registered.

The spike in cases in recent days is the peak community transmissions. There are fears that more cases could be unreported.

Now, according to Dr Mwebesa, the ministry has “quantified and applied for the Astra Zeneca Covid19 vaccine through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the process is in advanced stage.”

“The public will soon be informed of when the vaccine will arrive in the country.”

The vaccine Uganda will procure was developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and its efficacy is estimated at 70 per cent.

Meanwhile, Uganda is expected to start trials for drugs and a vaccine developed by scientists.

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