Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Hundreds of teachers and support staff from learning institutions are flocking selected vaccination sites in Kitgum district as mandatory COVID-19 vaccination commences.
The vaccination is in line with the health ministry’s directives to pave way for a full reopening of schools, and is being undertaken in ten selected primary schools in the district. The selected schools are Akuna Laber Primary School, Pandwong Primary School, Pajimo Primary school, Namokora Primary school, Lagotcugu primary school, and Kitgum boys primary school. Others are Orom primary school, Kitgum Matidi primary school, Lajokogayo primary school, and Kitgum Public Primary school.
Kitgum District Education Officer Fred Owot told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Monday that they target to vaccinate 5,000 staff from all learning institutions in the district. He says about 3,000 of those targeted are teaching staff while 2,000 are support staff from Nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions within the municipality and sub-counties.
Owot says the teachers will receive the Chinese vaccine, Sinovac. Others who had already taken the first jab of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will get the second dose of the same vaccine. Owot encouraged teachers and support staff to embrace the vaccination since its one of the processes that will aid the reopening of schools by the government.
Kitgum District Health Department recently received a total of 1,570 doses of Sinovac vaccine from the health ministry in addition to 1,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine it got in August. William Komakech, Kitgum Resident District Commissioner says about 1,800 teachers are expected to receive the Sinovac jab in the vaccination exercise that ends on Friday.
Komakech lauded the high turn up of the teachers who have embraced the vaccination in all the selected sub-counties, adding that they expect to achieve their objective with ease. Last week, Komakech noted that no teacher will be allowed back in the classroom without getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Over 300 teachers within Kitgum district had already received their first and second doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine since the vaccination exercise kicked off in March this year. Whereas the vaccination for teachers and non-teaching staff has kicked off across the country, the Education Ministry hasn’t yet come out clear on its position regarding reopening of learning institutions.
Last week, the State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo noted that the government had no plan in sight yet for re-opening of schools. His statement followed reports that the government had planned to reopen schools in the next two weeks.