Kampala, Uganda | URN | Hundreds of teachers convened at vaccination centres to get their COVID-19 jabs as the exercise kicked off in Kampala.
The mass vaccination exercise for teachers that started in Kampala on Wednesday 25th, August 2021 is expected to end on August 30.
The Directorate of Education and Social Services identified 10 schools to be used as vaccination centres, two in each of the divisions in Kampala. This was to mainly ensure that all teachers are vaccinated as one of the conditions pre-set by the government for the reopening of schools.
Although they were identified among key priority groups during the earlier vaccination drive, only about 10,000 teachers turned up for the jab out of a target of 550,000 teachers, leaving a huge number of teachers vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.
Dr Julius Simon Otim, the Manager Epidemiology and Disease Control at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), says that each vaccination centre will receive 1,000 doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, one of those validated for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to Dr Otim, the directorate intends to vaccinate over 10,000 teachers.
Otim says that the teacher vaccination centres are only enrolling persons who had not been previously vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine. He emphasized that they have discouraged those who took the first jab from joining the queues because they are using a different vaccine, which could affect the efficacy once mixed.
KCCA spokesperson Daniel NuweAbiine says that teachers and critical staff from both private and government institutions are being encouraged to go for vaccination. He says that all they require is an identity card from the school, a National Identity Card or an introductory letter from the school.
Robert Kyambadde, a teacher at Winston Standard SS Najjanankumbi, says that unlike the previous vaccination exercises where teachers had less information about the vaccination and effects of the vaccine, this time around, they have been sensitized and their fears are now arrested.
Bryan Katabalwa, a teacher from Andy Mwesigwa Comprehensive High School in Wakiso district says that he decided to join the vaccination in Kampala because of the urge he has to see the schools reopen, yet it is not clear when the drive will start in Wakiso.
Wilson Tumuhamye, the Principal of Lugogo Vocational Training Institute says he was encouraged by the proper arrangements that were put in place by the government, adding that the need to reopen schools has also contributed to the positive response.
However, Abdul Walakira, a support staff at Lugogo vocational Institute who received his jab at Bat Valley primary school says their top leaders passed a directive for every staff member to get vaccinated but he insists it was not his choice.
All the vaccinated teachers were told to get back for the second jab after four weeks.