Uganda orders 18m doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine

Uganda has ordered 18 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca and the government said on Tuesday that up to 40 percent of shipments are scheduled to arrive in the country by the end of March.

According to Reuters, to date, 39,651 cases of COVID-19 and 325 deaths have been recorded in Uganda – a far lower toll than in other countries due to what experts attribute to years of experience combating other viral outbreaks such as HIV and Ebola.

However, its economy is reeling from the effect of the steps put in place to curb the dissemination of the coronavirus.

The vaccine shots will be procured from India’s Serum Institute, the government said at a sitting held on Monday in a statement detailing cabinet deliberations.

The first doses will be used to vaccinate individuals 50 years of age and older, individuals with underlying health problems, health professionals, safety staff, teachers and other important providers of social services, he said.

As revealed, two doses separated by 28 days will be given to each person and Uganda is buying the vaccine from the manufacturer for $7 per dose.

Uganda is also expected to receive an additional 3.5 million doses of the same vaccine, produced by COVAX with Oxford University, a scheme set up by WHO to promote low and middle-income countries’ access to vaccines that will be obtained by early next month, the government said.

Uganda confirmed last week that, after nearly a year of research by local scientists, it had started conducting clinical trials of a domestically produced drug to treat COVID-19 infections.

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