US Embassy Can Only Vaccinate Ugandan Staff With their Families- MOH

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Whisper Eye

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has given the US Embassy in Uganda a condition to only vaccinate their Ugandan staff if they can also vaccinate their families.

Initial reports indicate that the government had rejected the embassy’s move to vaccinate all their staff. But Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng says that the country cannot tolerate a cocktail of vaccines whose effect is currently unclear.

The embassy was using Moderna, a vaccine that is not yet approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use and not among those that Uganda plans to use in an exercise that kicks off next week.  However, the vaccine that has been used in the United States and other countries has over 90 per cent efficacy in studies.

She says a committee has been instituted at the MOH to analyze the risks involved in having a cocktail of vaccines. 

However in a rather contradictory move, the Ministry of Health also revealed  that apart from the up to three million AstraZeneca doses expected from the COVAX facility between now and June, the country also expects donations of coronavac from China and the Serum Institute of India. 

Up to 100,000 doses are expected from the government of India and 300,000 of the Chinese vaccine.  Aceng says they are finalizing the modalities of having them arrive in the country.    

The Chinese drug has not yet gone through approvals by the World Health Organization too.  But Aceng says by the time the drug will be shipped in, approvals will have been made and that the Ministry of Health will be liable for any consequences that the drug might have. She says the Moderna vaccines brought in by the embassy didn’t go through the National Drug Authority approvals.

However, while explaining the liability issues that may arise with  COVID-19 vaccination, Dr Yonas Woldermariam, the WHO Country Representative said it’s mandatory for whoever will receive the vaccine only approved for emergency use to sign a consent form because for all the drugs in use, serious adverse reactions can’t be ruled out.