The Ministry of Health has advised frequent travelers to go to any designated vaccination facility and receive their 2nd dose of vaccine anytime between 8 and 12 weeks. One must carry along proof of travel to avoid any inconveniences.
The call was made by Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng the health Minister, while addressing the nation this evening.
Uganda which received her first batch of AstraZeneca Vaccine in March, is set to receive the next consignment of the vaccine in June 2021.
According to Dr. Aceng, all those who are due for their 2nd dose of the vaccine are advised to wait for the 12-week period from the time of receipt of the 1st dose.
“As per WHO’s analysis, vaccine efficacy increases significantly when the interval between doses is more than 4 weeks (4 to 8 weeks – 56.42%, 9 to 12 weeks – 70.48%, 12 weeks and above 77.62% and as high as 81.3% in another study) Immunogenicity data also shows an antibody response is two times higher with an interval of equal or higher than 12 weeks as compared to the 4 to 8 weeks.Moreover, observational studies have shown that with the 1st dose, there is 80-90% efficiency against hospitalization, hence protecting more people is more beneficial in terms of public health response. The Ministry of Health therefore advises all those who are due for their 2nd dose of the vaccine to wait for the 12-week period from the time of receipt of the 1st dose” the Minister said.
She noted that to-date, 364,582 people have been vaccinated a with the 1st dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.
While giving an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister noted that between March and April 2021, the country has registered an 81% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. She added that the country has started to experience a significant increase in cases among the 10-29 age group.
“We registered a 12% increase in cases amongst children aged 10-19 years and a 5% increase in those aged 20-29. This is a sign that Uganda is at the foot of the resurgence or another wave in the pandemic and also an indication that all age groups are affected. As per the resurgence mode categorization: we define alert level 1 as a 10%- 20% increase in cases from the baseline of any geographical area or district and action level as >20% increase” Dr. Aceng said.
She added that there is already an upsurge reported in districts that were previously on high alert and are now in action mode. The districts are; Kiryandongo, Adjumani, Soroti, Oyam, Gulu and Jinja.
“The emergence of the cases in Jinja is attributed to a cluster of individuals working in a factory in Buikwe district, 1 of whom recently arrived from India, with the 4 being close contacts. The 5 affected individuals have been isolated at Jinja RRH and are undergoing treatment. This does not mean the other districts are not affected, the above listed districts have been vigilant in carrying out surveillance and reporting. The same could be happening elsewhere” she added.
According to Dr. Aceng, the Ministry has categorized countries in relation to the COVID-19 risk the pose, based on the current global trend of the outbreak. Category 1 has India. All flights from India and all passengers originating from India were suspended effective 1st May 2021 at 23:59hrs.
Category 2: Travelers from the USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania should consider postponing non-essential travel to Uganda. She added that any traveller from these countries including Ugandan nationals and residents will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test at the Points of Entry including Entebbe International Airport.