Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, says that Uganda will choose the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine because it does not require complex cold storage unlike Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.
According to Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Uganda will opt for an Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine because it does not require complex cool storage. Unlike that of Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.
- The Ministry of Health announced that the country will purchase vaccines from AstraZeneca.
- Adar Poonawalla told the BBC that it aims to increase production to 100 million doses a month.
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The Ministry of Health announced that it is purchasing the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca in the wake of the Coronavirus mile storm in Uganda.
In a report dated January 2, 2021, Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, said access to the vaccine will begin with the most vulnerable and at-risk individuals.
“Uganda will participate in the Global COVAX Initiative for COVID-19 Vaccine Access and has already submitted a related application, which has been approved by the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI).”
“Based on the evidence available and recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Uganda will access the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca. The access of the vaccine will be done in an equitable manner starting with the most vulnerable and more at risk,” Dr Atwine said.
She also said the country would explore other traditional vaccine options from China with the approval of the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, this comes at a time when hospitals across the country are already overwhelmed by increasing coronavirus cases. The Permanent Secretary also revealed that when they met they found that there has been an increase in new cases across the country in the last three months.
“The number of COVID-19 cases in the country has increased by 88% or 22,000 in the last three months. The people of Uganda need access to the COVID-19 vaccine not only a mitigating strategy against the severe disease and deaths, but also public health measures to enable a safe return to normalcy.”
A total of 36,050 cases have been confirmed in Uganda since the ministry announced on Monday 128 new cases from COVID-19 tests conducted on January 03, 2021.
Of these, 12,267 have been discharged after recovering from the virus, and 274 have succumbed to it.
About the AstraZeneca Vaccine
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is locally produced by the Serum Institute of India, the biggest vaccine producer worldwide. It says more than 50 million units are produced a month.
In November Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the company told the BBC that they are seeking a production increase of 100 million doses every month following the approval of the regulations.
This jab is given at two doses between four and 12 weeks called Covishield in India. It can be stored safely at 2C to 8C temperatures, such as a home cooler, and can also be supplied to current health systems such as doctor’s operations.
This makes it easier to distribute than some other vaccines. Jab developed by Pfizer / BioNTech – currently managed in many countries – should be stored at -70C and can only be moved for a limited number of times – a particular challenge in India, where summer temperatures reach 50C.