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Covid-19 vaccine stock outs hit greater Luwero districts

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Districts in greater Luwero are facing a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines.

On Tuesday this week, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng re-echoed the need to seek vaccination after she confirmed seven cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Aceng said that the new COVID-19 variant is not severe among people who are vaccinated and called upon Ugandans to embrace vaccination drives across the country. Aceng also noted that the country had adequate vaccines.

However, residents in the districts of Luwero, Nakaseke, and Nakasongola are stranded after finding no vaccines at health centers.

Christopher Mukasa, a resident of Galuwero zone in Luwero town says that he was turned away at Luwero hospital after finding no vaccines there.

Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luwero District Health Officer says that the district received 115,000 doses in early November and these were all administered before the month ended.

Nkonwa explained that currently, the district has no vaccines but is hopeful that National Medical Stores-NMS will deliver soon to enable them to resume vaccinating the residents against COVID-19.

Luwero district has administered 137,000 doses since it began the vaccination exercise.

In Nakaseke, Allan Mayanja Ssebunya, the Nakaseke Central Member of Parliament said he had tried to mobilize people to go for vaccination but it’s unfortunate to find the vaccines unavailable at government health centers.

Mayanja asked the Ministry of Health to ensure vaccines are readily available and extend vaccination camps in hard-to-reach areas to cover all people.

Ntumwa Matovu, the Nakaseke hospital administrator says the hospital has limited vaccines and they are now prioritizing those seeking second doses.

In Nakasongola, Dr Agaba Byamukama, the District Health Officer said they also have limited vaccines and some types are currently out of stock.

Local Leaders say the stockouts may affect their efforts to mobilize and inoculate as many residents as possible against the COVID-19.

But Sheila Nduhukire, the spokesperson of National Medical Stores has promised that they will dispatch the vaccines to the districts before the end of next week.

Nduhukire explained that the Ministry of Health has been implementing accelerated regional vaccination campaigns and it is where they have been sending the vaccines.

“We began with Teso, Lango, Kigezi, Acholi, Tooro, Bunyoro and West Nile regions. We are now dispatching trucks to other districts and vaccines will have been delivered by end of next week” Nduhukire said.

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