By Agnes Kiconco
KIU, Main Campus - The Uganda Ministry of Health and partners have today March 9, 2021, taken a step to sensitize the media on the COVID-19 vaccination exercise that is scheduled to start tomorrow, March 10, 2021.
The main objective of the training is to equip the media on the COVID-19 vaccine introduction, target audience and address myths.
As earlier communicated by the ministry, the vaccine will be administered for free in the public sector and it has been tested and confirmed to be safe and efficacious.
"Vaccination against COVID-19 starts on 10 March 2021. Government is providing the vaccine FREE of charge," Dr. Diana Atwine stated in a tweet.
Dr. Phionah Atuhebwe (in the picture), a Ugandan vaccinologist and immunization expert emphasized the safety of the vaccine and its efficacy in ruling out the virus.
“COVID-19 vaccines are very safe with high efficacy, particularly in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death,” Dr. Phionah Atuhebwe said.
With the use of media sensitization, therefore, the ministry aims at spreading the good news of the incoming vaccination exercise that is expected to see 49.6% of Uganda’s population vaccinated with sectors of our economy back on track since the total lockdown that was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we continue to hope that the exercise yields better results, there is still some resistance against the AstraZeneca vaccine as the vaccine is feared to have side effects and not as effective as other vaccines like the Moderna and Pfizer.
According to Reuters, European regulators have concluded the side-effects caused by the AstraZenaca vaccine are not a cause to doubt its safety. A study in Scotland covering 5.4 million people showed AstraZaneca and the Pfizer vaccine were highly effective in preventing severe infections.
Though the AstraZeneca vaccine had a rough start, it has been considered highly effective in preventing severe infections which is a ray of hope towards eliminating the pandemic.