By Leilah Bbaale
The Ministry of health says it will administer the AstraZeneca vaccine eight weeks apart despite studies showing that administering the vaccine 12 weeks apart leads to higher efficacy of the vaccines.
According to a study published in the medical journal, the Lancet that took place in the UK people who got the first and second vaccine three months apart or longer had better efficacy. The findings show they had an efficacy of 81 percent compared to 55 percent for those who got at a six or eight-week interval.
Uganda has ordered for 18 million doses of the vaccine from both the COVAX facility the Serum Institute of India. According to the health ministry, they will administer the vaccines eight weeks apart as is recommended by the World Health Organization.
Dr. Alfred Driwale, the programme manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization says the country will follow WHO recommendations and those of the manufacturer.
“We are aware of the study but the WHO recommendation will be our basis. We shall administer the vaccine at eight weeks and not longer. That is what we have decided and are organising for,” says Dr. Driwale.
According to Dr. Driwale, the most important thing right now is that the country starts vaccinating people. The health ministry says they are in the process of developing a mobile application that will enable them to easily follow up with people and ensure they get a second dose of the vaccine.
In addition, all people receiving the vaccine will have to present their national ID and also avail information about how they can easily be contacted.