By Agnes Kiconco
KIU, Main Campus - The Uganda Ministry of Health and partners, on 9th March, 2021, took a step to sensitize media on the COVID-19 vaccination exercise that was scheduled to start today, 10th March, 2021.
The main objective of the training was to equip the media on the COVID-19 vaccine introduction, target audience and also address myths.
As earlier communicated by the ministry, the vaccine would be administered for free in the public sector as it has been tasted and confirmed 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, a Ugandan Vaccinologist and Immunization Expert, emphasized the safety of the vaccine and it's efficacy in ruling out the virus.
“COVID-19 vaccines are very safe with high efficacy, particularly in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death,” Dr. 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 it is feared to have side effects and to be not as effective as other vaccines like the Moderna and Pfizer.
According to the Reuters, European regulators have concluded that 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 that both it 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 in turn considered a small ray of hope towards ruling out the pandemic.