Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has launched investigations into allegations that COVID-19 vaccines entrusted to its health centres went missing under mysterious circumstances.
Uganda received 964,000 vaccine doses which were sent to different local governments across the country to effect a vaccination drive among priority groups which included among others, teachers, security personnel, health workers, senior citizens and persons with underlying health conditions. Under this arrangement, KCCA received 200,000 doses for the priority groups in Kampala.
However, it emerged last week that KCCA had not accounted for 21,000 of the doses that it received. Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago says that they had received reports that some of the vaccines given to KCCA had gone missing, and brought the matter to the attention of the Executive Director for an investigation.
During the second meeting of the city council, Lukwago called for more COVID-19 testing such that more people can know their status. Lukwago says some councillors were found positive with COVID-19 and as the virus continues to affect more people, there is need to enhance efforts to fight it.
Last week, the health ministry revealed that 14,460 COVID-19 vaccine doses went to waste because they were opened and not used. Scientists say vaccines lose their potency and effectiveness if they are exposed to temperatures outside the required range.
This implies that once a vial’s seal is punctured, workers have only six hours within which to administer the vaccine. Each vial can vaccinate 10 to 12 people. Catherine Makumbi Ntabadde, the UNICEF country communication specialist says Uganda is expected to receive another batch of 688,000 vaccine doses in August.
She noted that these doses will be administered to people who will be getting their second jab. Uganda gave UNICEF US$ 11million, about Shillings 38 billion to procure COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility, with the aim of vaccinating 21 million people in a phased manner.
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