Uganda to vaccinate over 10,000 health workers against Ebola

Uganda to vaccinate over 10,000 health workers against Ebola
On behalf of MOH, Lt. Col. Dr. Henry Kyobe Bosa received a consignment of 25,060 doses of J & J Ebola vaccines to be used in preventive vaccination against Ebola in 20 target districts in Uganda.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Government of Uganda is gearing up to vaccinate more than 10,000 high-risk health workers against Ebola, starting in May 2024.

Dr. Henry Kyobe, an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health and the leader of the Ebola response taskforce, disclosed this information following the reception of a donation of 25,000 double doses from Johnson and Johnson on Wednesday 28, February 2024.

The vaccination campaign will primarily focus on 20 districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and specific locations in Kampala city.

Dr. Kyobe explained that the Ministry of Health requested the donation from Johnson and Johnson to fortify the layers of defense against potential Ebola outbreaks, especially the Sudanese strain that affected the country in 2022.

The vaccination process against Ebola to the vulnerable health workers is scheduled to kick off in May 2024 after completing preparatory work, considering the importance of a meticulous approach.

Dr. Kyobe highlighted that the selection of areas for health worker vaccination was based on a comprehensive risk assessment, identifying districts along the entire DR Congo-Uganda border, from West Nile to Kisoro.

Frontline workers in selected health facilities in these districts, along with individuals highly susceptible to the pandemic in Kampala, will be prioritized.

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Vaccination, according to Dr. Kyobe, complements traditional preventive methods such as contact tracing and safe burials. The recently received Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered in two doses, with a primary dose and a booster, primarily designed to resist the Zaire strain.

Dr. Andrew Kambugu, the Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), expressed readiness to execute the vaccination campaign as the implementing partners of the program.

This vaccination initiative underscores Uganda’s commitment to proactive public health measures, strengthening the nation’s preparedness against the Ebola pandemic.