According to a Ministry Of Health statement, recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee indicate that Uganda will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca.
The above recommendation was arrived at from a meeting of the National COVID19 Task Force, in a meeting chaired by the President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, over the weekend at the State House Entebbe.
The congregation realized the upward surge in positive coronavirus cases reported and is looking to accessing the vaccine for Ugandans at the earliest possible chance, not only as a mitigating strategy but also as a measure to propel the country into a return to normalcy.
Uganda has not been the same since the 18th March 2020 lockdown, with several sectors going into limbo for the first few weeks after that and slowly recovering with the relaxation of lockdown measures as the year went by. To date, Uganda has recorded 36,407 positive cases, 12,387 recoveries, and 290 deaths to COVID19.
Uganda will participate in the global COVAX initiative for COVID19 vaccine access and has already submitted an application to this effect, accepted by the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI).
Ministry Of Health Permanent Secretary said that the government is expected to co-fund the vaccine’s purchase by providing about USD 10-11m to cover at least 60% of Uganda’s population, starting with the most vulnerable and more at risk.
How The AstraZeneca Vaccine Works – Courtesy Of Very well Health
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is a Recombinant adenoviral vector vaccine. Recombinant vaccines use a small piece of genetic material from a pathogen, like SARS-CoV-2, to trigger an immune response. A specific piece of the virus can be targeted, and these vaccines are generally safe to use in a large population of people—even those with chronic health problems or people who are immunocompromised.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was tested using two doses given about a month apart. The dosing used in the trials is unclear—with different accounts of the dosing changes first uncovered by Reuters news service. Reporters with the news agency was given two different answers by AstraZeneca and Oxford about whether a subgroup in the U.K. arm of the study received half doses of the vaccine purposefully or by accident. The discrepancy was uncovered after preliminary results were published.
Whether by accident or on purpose, the dosing change appears to have been lucky. According to the trial report, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is about 70% effective on average. However, this average was calculated after a 62% effective rate was observed in people who received the full vaccine dose compared with 90% effective in those who received the half dose. Additional reviews are ongoing, and it remains unclear at this time why a half-dose of vaccine might have worked better than a full second dose.