Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Ministry of Health of Uganda has started withdrawing unused COVID-19 vaccine doses from districts.
More than 90,000 unused COVID-19 vaccines are to be got from Adjumani, Amolata, Kotido, Bulisa, Nwoya, Kyenjojo, Sironko, Kaberamaido, Otuke and Omoro.
According to the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization (UNEPI), most of the affected districts have failed to vaccinate over 1,000 people in the last three months since vaccination was rolled out. Officials say as of May 18, only 356,900 vaccines had been used by districts out of 653,440 that were distributed.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director-General Health Services says the National Medical Stores (NMS) accompanied by district COVID-19 task forces will regain the unused COVID-19 vaccines.
One of the affected districts, Adjumani received 5,500 vaccines in March but to date, they have used 1,200 vaccines.
Peter Taban, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and also the head of the COVID-19 task force attributes the low uptake of the vaccine to the health ministry limiting the vaccine to certain categories of people.
Mwebesa says the affected districts will be left with some vaccines to enable people to get the second dose of the vaccine. Each district will be left with 10 vials that can vaccinate as many as 130 people.
The vaccines once retrieved, will be sent to districts such as Kampala and Wakiso that have recorded high vaccine turnout numbers. With the July 10, 2021 vaccine expiry day drawing closer, Mwebesa says they cannot leave the unused vaccines to go to waste.