Ugandans who drink alcohol have been urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure that they are protected from hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.
The Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng says she has received several concerns about the relationship between alcohol consumption and the COVID-19 vaccination, noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) advises that excessive consumption of alcohol compromises immunity of an individual.
“Therefore, there is no absolute contraindication to alcohol if taken in moderation. I would like to reiterate 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. Remember, excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health” Dr. Aceng advised.
She however added that there is no scientific evidence to show that when you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you should stay away from alcohol for 40 days.
Uganda launched COVID-19 vaccination on 10th March 2020, and so far, 144,025 Ugandans have received their 1 st dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine availed to Uganda under the COVAX facility and a donation by the Government of India.
Dr. Aceng in a progress report released today Thursday, said that they started the vaccination with health workers, teachers, and security personnel. People aged 70 years and above were later added to the priority group considering their vulnerability to COVID-19 and high-risk profile.
“As of today, I wish to inform all the people in Uganda that we have 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. Therefore, all Nationals and non-Nationals resident in Uganda who fall in the above-mentioned priority groups or categories should go for the COVID-19 vaccination at the designated health facilities” the Minister says.
She has also urged members of the private sector who are writing to the Director General Health Services requesting for permission to import the COVID-19 vaccine, that they should explicitly state the type of COVID-19 vaccine they intend to import, where the vaccine will be imported from, how they intend to maintain the cold chain, store the vaccines and how they will manage adverse events following immunization. Remember that vaccines for use in Uganda MUST be cleared by the WHO for Emergency use and the National Drug Authority (NDA) for use in Uganda.
COVID-19 cases in Uganda are currently at a low, with single digits being reported on some days.