Uganda receives more than 175,000 COVID-19 vaccines amid shortage

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 on Wednesday received a donation of 175,200 COVID-19 vaccines from France, through the COVAX facility, as the East African nation steps up its efforts to tackle a deadly second wave of infections and deaths.

The AstraZeneca vaccines were delivered at Entebbe International Airport and received by the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng from French ambassador Jules-Armand Aniambossou.

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 vaccines are Uganda’s third such consignment to be received since March.

Uganda has now received a total of 1,139,200 vaccine doses in that time and more than 869,000 people have been vaccinated so far, according to government figures.

The general manager of the National Medical Stores (NMS) Moses Kamabare said transportation and delivery of the vaccines would commence immediately once it received the consignment from the ministry.

“That’s when we will know how many vaccines, how many doses to which place. As soon as we receive that distribution list, NMS will be starting the distribution immediately tomorrow (Thursday) morning to all parts of the country that Ministry of Health will have directed us to deliver to,” Kambare said.

Meanwhile, Aceng said the arrival of the vaccines was “timely” as the country had exhausted its supply amid the ravaging second wave.

Aceng added that Uganda is expected to receive a further 688,000 doses “very soon”.

Uganda is reporting a daily average of 1,000 COVID-19 cases and has so far recorded a total of 67,215 confirmed cases and 542 deaths.