There is a mad rush for COVID-19 vaccines at designated vaccination centres in Kitgum District amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Health officials in the district disclosed that more than 500 people were vaccinated on Monday, the highest number recorded in a single day since the vaccination exercise kicked off on May 17, this year. William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner told media on Tuesday that the vaccine uptake has shot up rapidly since the end of last week.
A week ago, only 1,066 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine had been administered out of 3,120 doses the Health Ministry dispatched to the district Health department. Komakech however says that only 620 dozes of the vaccines are now left in the District health store.
“We had a low demand of the vaccine two months ago and the Health Ministry threatened to withdraw the vaccine. But now the demand is high, we are seeing ways of getting more for our people,” he added. He notes that the COVID-19 the task force is now lobbying the Health Ministry for more vaccine to match the current high demand.
The district task-force recently added St. Joseph’s Hospital Kitgum as one of the COVID-19 vaccination centres on top of 35 other health facilities that include Kitgum General hospital. At Kitgum General Hospital, more than 200 people had received the COVID-19 jab between Thursday last week and Tuesday afternoon.
A health worker undertaking records for the vaccination exercise who didn’t want to be named since she isn’t authorized to speak for the Hospital says the numbers have been overwhelming. She notes that on Monday and Tuesday alone, close to 193 people had received their first COVID-19 jab.
“We are overwhelmed; the numbers are just too many. We don’t think the vaccine available will be enough for the growing numbers of people rushing to get vaccinated,” She told URN in an interview.
In Lira District, a total of 7,570 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have so far been administered out of 7,830 vials sent by the Health Ministry. Dr Edmond Acheka, the Acting District Health Officer explained that although the response was low at the beginning, a number of people are now seeking vaccination.
In the last three weeks, Lira District registered four COVID-19 deaths with numerous cases of community infections, which drove the patient numbers to 30 at the District treatment centre. Considering this, Acheka said there is a need for people to embrace standard Operating Procedures for the control of the disease citing frequent hand washing and social distancing.
Meanwhile, a number of districts have run out of COVID-19 vaccines following the recent rush for the vaccination.
In Hoima district, Dr Lawrence Tumusiime, the District Health Officer disclosed that they run out of COVID-19 vaccines by Friday last week. Dr Tumusiime says all 5,230 doses of COVID-19 vaccines received from the Health Ministry have been administered. He noted that health officials by last week were vaccinating about 500 people daily unlike 100 people in the past.
The Health Ministry recently announced a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, a move that has seen a high demand for vaccination among the populace. Uganda’s cumulative confirmed COVID-19cases has hit 47,761 with the latest 614 cases confirmed as of May 30, according to reports from the Health Ministry.