Kampala runs out of COVID-19 vaccines as ‘alarming’ third wave hits Uganda

COVID-19 vaccines
Residents of Kampala are embracing the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Health authorities in Uganda said Wednesday 18th that Kampala has run out of COVID-19 vaccines after exhausting the supply of 15,000 doses allocated.

Our reporters visited some vaccination sites such as the Kampala Capital City Clinic, Kiswa health center III, Bukoto heath center, Naguru General Hospital and Kisenyi and found no queues of people waiting for vaccines.

Charles Lweno, a 30-year-old man found at the KCCA clinic said that he was told to return on Tuesday 17th to receive his second jab, but he was disappointed as there were no vaccines.

“There’s very bad communication. I was here yesterday and we were told to come back today. We came back and the nurses just looked at us for more than an hour before telling us there were no vaccines,” Lweno said.

According to the health ministry, a total of 15,000 doses out of the 286,000 donated vaccines were allocated to Kampala.

Sheila Nduhukire, the Public Relations Officer at the National Medical Stores (NMS) says there are no AstraZeneca vaccines.

“At the moment we do not have any vaccines in our stores. We are expecting to get more on Thursday 19th, August 2021 so that we can distribute more vaccines next week,” she said.

As Kampala runs out of COVID-19 vaccines, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the senior public relations officer at the ministry of health says that people need to be patient because more vaccines are expected.

“Kampala does not have vaccines but we are expecting more to arrive any time from now and we shall carry on with vaccination hopefully next week,” Ainebyoona said.

NMS currently has a total of 300,000 Sinovac vaccines, which have been earmarked for corporate groups like people working in companies, associations.

Read Also: East African Community pushes for joint COVID-19 vaccines strategy

Dr Immaculate Ampaire, the deputy programme manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization says it’s only Kampala currently reporting shortages.

“So far our reports only show its Kampala that is out of vaccines, in other districts they still have. This does not mean that people should not go to those districts to look for vaccines. We are expecting more vaccines and Kampala will likely resume vaccination next week,” she said.

According to Ampaire, the next vaccination exercise will focus on persons getting their second jab and people in the priority groups that have not received even one jab of the vaccine.

Data from the health ministry shows that as of August 16, 2021, only 163,346 teachers had received one jab of the vaccine out of the targeted 550,000 targeted group.