Uganda denies hospitals in Kampala have run out of COVID-19 vaccines

A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Mulago referral hospital in Kampala, on the first day of a vaccination campaign on March 10, 2021. - Uganda has started to give vaccination with 964,000 doses from Indian government for frontline workers, nurses, doctors, teachers and officers from all units of police. (Photo by Badru KATUMBA / AFP) (Photo by BADRU KATUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Uganda’s Ministry of Health on Monday denied speculation that all hospitals in the capital Kampala had run out of COVID-19 vaccines as the country grapples with a second wave of infections and deaths.

FILE PHOTO: A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Mulago referral hospital in Kampala. (Photo by BADRU KATUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

The ministry was responding to an allegation by an online user that the capital’s hospitals had all exhausted their vaccine supply and the government had ordered a further 175,000 doses in addition to recalling unused vaccines from low demand districts in rural areas.

“It is not true that all health facilities in Kampala have ran (sic) out of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of this morning, 3,000 doses of the vaccine were distributed to various health facilities to ensure vaccination goes on,” the ministry said in a tweet.

According to the ministry, close to 750,000 people have so far been vaccinated in the East African country.

Uganda is currently facing a second wave of the pandemic, which is more deadly and devastating. Health experts say the wave is worse than the first one since it is more transmissible and affecting young people.

Since the beginning of the month, Uganda has reported more than 5,000 new cases, the majority of them in Kampala, and more than 20 deaths from the deadly disease.

The most affected age group in the current wave, the government noted, is young people aged, 20-39 years old with observed increasing transmission among the 10-19 yrs.

Such issues led President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday to order the closure of schools for six weeks and demand all teachers get vaccinated before resuming duty.

Museveni also announced a number of other restrictions including a strict lockdown, limits on the number of people allowed in certain social gatherings, suspension of religious services and adherence to protocols during operations of markets, factories and hotels.

An assessment of their impact will then help the government decide whether to ease or prolong them, Museveni said.

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