All private organizations have been permitted to procure covid-19 vaccines to immunize their staff members.
According to Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, only vaccines from reliable sources will be allowed and procured vaccines will go through the National Medical Stores (NMS) which has well established cold chain for proper handling of the vaccines.
“Organizations that may wish to procure vaccines and vaccinate their staff at no cost will be allowed to do so through the National Medical Stores (NMS) and from reliable sources. This is to ensure quality, safety and maintain the cold chain. The Ministry of Health will allocate health workers to carry out the vaccination,” she said.
The vaccines currently approved by the Ministry of Health for emergency use in the country include AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer BioNTech, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Sputnik Lite, Moderna.
The minister has repeatedly said government is struggling to access vaccines due to high global demand and hoarding of vaccines by developed countries.
“Regarding the purely private sector for sale of vaccines to the general population – this channel is important to increase access to vaccination. However, the risks associated with fake vaccines and exploitation of the population are high,” Dr Aceng said.
At least 800 people in Uganda received fake Covid-19 vaccines in June from “unscrupulous people” as employers rushed to inoculate workers amid a spike in infections.
Some companies paid fees to have their employees vaccinated from their work premises, but the medical officials turned out to be fraudsters administering largely water, according to Warren Naamara, the director of State House Health Monitoring Unit.
Two people were arrested over the scam, he said by phone.
The East African country is battling a second wave exacerbated by the Delta variant. Cases have spiked to a cumulative 91,162 from 47,147 at the end of May, according to the Health Ministry.
The nation with about 42.7 million people has received only 1.14 million AstraZeneca Plc doses through the Covax facility and a donation from the Indian government. It has administered just over 1.1 million.
The country is due to receive 285,600 doses under Covax this month and 687,800 in August as well as a donation of 300,000 doses from Sinovac.