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MOH considers vaccinating under 18 students at health institutes

Dr. Alfred Driwale, the Program Manager Uganda National Expanded Program of Immunisation-UNEPI, says that they are engaging WHO to revise the age group.  

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  Ministry of Health is considering vaccinating students aged 18 and below at health training institutions against COVID-19 to control the spread of the virus. According to the Health Ministry, health institutions are turning out to be COVID-19 cluster centers.  

The manufacturers of the vaccine and the World Health Organisation recommend that the vaccine to be administered to people above 18 years because this age group was involved in the trials to determine their efficacy.

Dr. Alfred Driwale, the Program Manager Uganda National Expanded Program of Immunisation-UNEPI, says that they are engaging WHO to revise the age group.  

“Previously the vaccine was for people above 18 years but since students in health institutes were added to the group of persons to get the vaccine, some schools like the one in Kasese gave the students the vaccines and we have not reported any serious side effects. So we are talking to WHO to see whether this can apply elsewhere,” Dr. Driwale said.  

Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the Health Minister in charge of primary health care, says vaccination needs to take place in health institutes where many cases have been reported.

In February, AstraZeneca began vaccine trials on volunteers aged 6-17 years of age based in the UK. The trials were halted following claims that some of the beneficiaries had developed blood clots. 

The effect the vaccine might have on persons aged 16 and below still remains unknown. According to data from the ministry of health, over 300 students from different education institutions have tested positive for COVID-19 within the school setting. Many have been managed at the schools or institutions.

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