By Agnes KICONCO
KIU, Main Campus - The Minister of Health, Hon. Jane Ruth Aceng, has on Thursday, 8th April, addressed concerns regarding the relationship between alcohol consumption and COVID-19 vaccination.
The Minister said taking alcohol after COVID-19 vaccination is not harmful though excessive alcohol consumption compromises an individual's immunity just as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“However, there is no scientific evidence to show that when you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you should stay away from alcohol for 40 days. Therefore, there is no absolute contraindication to alcohol if taken in moderation," said the Minister.
She also added that, “Individuals who consume alcohol should get vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure that they are protected from hospitalization and death due to COVID-19."
The minister made these remarks while addressing the media on the COVID-19 vaccination process where she stated that currently, 144,025 people have received their 1st dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine availed to Uganda under the COVAX facility and the Government of India.
Aceng further noted that as of today (Thursday), the ministry has lowered the age of priority people targeted for vaccination.
"All persons aged 50 years and above and those aged 18 to 50 years with comorbidities such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, liver/heart/kidney disease are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination," she said.
On the other hand, private organizations and companies that would like to import the COVID-19 vaccine were advised to write to the Ministry of Health regarding the type of COVID-19 vaccine they intend to import, where the vaccine will be imported from, how to maintain the cold chain, storage & how they will manage adverse events.
Speaking more about the vaccination process, Health Minister Aceng stressed that COVID-19 Vaccination is voluntary and free of charge.
"Please go for this vaccine when your turn comes. Report any individuals who solicit money to administer the vaccine. This is a criminal offence, and the responsible officers will be apprehended and punished according to law," Dr. Aceng said.