By Agnes Kiconco
KIU, Main Campus - As citizens raise the question as to whether the available COVID-19 vaccines can fend off the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, the Ministry of Health on 14th December, 2021, confirmed that current vaccines are by all means, effective against the Omicron variant, and can prevent severe disease and death.
The notifications come days after the Ministry confirmed seven cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant at Entebbe International Airport. The travelers were identified as arrivals from South Africa and Nigeria. The cases were detected by the genomic surveillance tests that Entebbe Airport has been carrying out at various entry points, as directed by the Ministry of Health.
“According to WHO (World Health Organization), the current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from most variants including Omicron. No need for panic,” read a statement from the Ministry, further urging the public to visit the nearest vaccination sites to get a COVID-19 jab.
The Omicron COVID-19 variant was first identified by scientists in South Africa and Botswana in late November. Since its identification, the variant has been a major concern to health experts due to its highly mutated nature.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, has appealed to the public to remain calm, get vaccinated against COVID-19, and adhere to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The Ministry has promoted the vaccination exercise organizing several campaigns around the country to have the entire population vaccinated as schools prepare to reopen on 10th January, 2022.