By Simon Abaho
The United Kingdom government has donated a total of 299,520 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Uganda to help in bolstering vaccination efforts against the deadly virus.
The donation was announced as part of the five million doses that are being offered to the COVAX facility to ensure equitable global access to Covid vaccines.
The State Minister in charge of Primary Health Care Margaret Muhanga received the donation on behalf of the government on Thursday.
Through the facility, the much-needed vaccines will urgently be distributed to lower-income countries, including Uganda, via “an equitable allocation system”, which prioritises timely delivery to people who most need them. Another four million doses will be shared directly with countries in need. “The UK is sending nine million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, the first batch of the 100 million doses we’ve pledged, to get the most vulnerable parts of the world vaccinated as a matter of urgency,” said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
“We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe.”
The UK has invested £90 million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, consequently, half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower and middle-income countries.
“This is a global pandemic and Covid-19 vaccines are the best way to protect people and prevent the emergence of new variants. We want to make sure developing countries can build a wall of defence against the virus as we have in the UK through our vaccine rollout,” said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid .
“The UK is one of the largest donors to COVAX and this donation is part of our pledge to send 100 million vaccines to some of the world’s least developed countries. The government has secured enough doses for all UK residents, crown dependencies and overseas territories to support our ongoing vaccination programme and booster programme.”
Speaking about the donation to Uganda, the British High Commissioner to Uganda, Kate Airey said her country will continue supporting Uganda in efforts to fight the deadly virus.
“I’m delighted that the UK has been able to send a further 299,520 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Uganda to help the most vulnerable and key workers to receive protection through the COVID vaccine. The additional 299,520 doses from the UK will be used to give a second dose to high priority groups and the most vulnerable, including teachers, those 50 years and over and those 18 years and older with underlying health risks,” Airey said.
“To date, Uganda has received 1,725,280 vaccines through the COVAX scheme. The UK will continue to support the COVID response in Uganda and other countries, contributing over 100m doses globally in the coming months, and advocating globally for fairer distribution of vaccines, helping us all to reduce COVID risk.”
To date, a total of 1248,861 doses of covid vaccines have been administered to Ugandans.
A total of 97453 cumulative Covid cases have been registered in Uganda since March 2020 with 95217 recoveries and 2931 deaths.
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