An additional 175,200 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the French government through the COVAX facility have arrived in the country. The vaccines arrived in the country on Wednesday night aboard KLM airlines.
The 3rd consignment was received by a team of officials from the Ministry of Health and National Medical Stores-NMS at Entebbe International Airport.
According to Sheila Nduhukire the NMS Spokesperson, their trucks picked the vaccines from the airport for safe storage.
“They will be stored at NMS for onward distribution across the country” she said.
Meanwhile, the health ministry is expected to communicate later today how the doses will be distributed and the targeted recipients.
In his last address, President Yoweri Museveni advised that the vaccines should be given to Ugandans who have already received the 1st dose, in order for them to complete their dosage.
The vaccines come at a time the country is dealing with a surging number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. A daily average of 1,000 cases and over 65 deaths have been recorded in the last two weeks. The new doses bring to 1, 139,200, the number of COVID-19 doses received in the country.
The first two batches, totalling 964,000 doses arrived in the country in March and are expected to expire by July 10th, 2021. By June 13th, over 800,000 people including health workers, teachers, security personnel, airport staff, the elderly and people with diabetes, hypertension and other underlying conditions had been vaccinated.
Last week, the health ministry revealed that 14,460 COVID-19 vaccine doses went to waste because they were opened and not used. Scientists say vaccines lose their potency and effectiveness if they are exposed to temperatures outside of the required range or when exposed to light.