The development follows the low uptake of COVID-19 vaccination in the region amidst the surging number of infections. Statistics from Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, which hosts the COVID-19 treatment center in the region, indicate that on average, 14 people test positive for the contagious virus each day.
Soroti district/city has the highest burden of COVID-19 in Teso Sub Region followed by Serere, Ngora, Kumi, Kaberamaido and Kalaki districts. The medics at the main hospital say that most of the people testing positive are non-vaccinated.
Now, as a new measure to cover the gap, the COVID-19 Taskforce at the main hospital has introduced outreaches reaching out to areas like bars, trading centers, markets, churches and other gatherings to have more people vaccinated.
Dr. Wilson Etolu, the COVID-19 Focal Point Person at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, says that they arrived at the decision following the poor turn up of people for the vaccination exercise.
Dr. Etolu was speaking at one of the popular bars in Pamba Ward, Soroti City West Division where medics had pitched a camp for vaccination on Sunday.
George Otomet, the team leader of Opolok Bar in Pamba, says that he mobilized his members for the vaccination exercise after speaking to medics at the hospital. He notes that most of his members have not been able to go for the vaccination before of the long queues at the hospital, especially in the morning hours.
Geoffrey Ochana, one of the residents who was vaccinated at Pamba Drinking Joint, said that he had a bad impression of the vaccine until his friends convinced him to take the jab. After taking his first jab, Ochana told the medics to extend the services to places of worship and other dwelling areas.
By September 9, 2021, Soroti district had vaccinated only 8,186, out of which, only 2,186 had received the two jabs. The overall district target for vaccination is 175,000 people.