Over 700 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to expire in Arua district
todaySeptember 25, 2021
By Sharon Angucia. More than 700 AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines are on the verge of expiry in Arua district if not unutilized by the end of the month. The vaccines include 152 doses at the district vaccine store and 514 doses at the 5 vaccination centers across the district. This is part of the 3,840 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines the district received from the National Medical Stores NMS on the 27th of August this year. Arua Resident District Commissioner says they have commenced rigorous mobilization of community members to take the vaccines before they can go to waste by 30th of this month. “Government has done a lot to facilitate the task force and we are not going to fail this time around especially now that the vaccines are about to expire. But people are getting stubborn to receive the vaccines for whatever reasons I don’t know. If need be we shall take it to some schools and even markets including door to door approach to attract people to consume these vaccines because it will be very bad if these vaccines just expire”, he said. The district COVID-19 task force is currently re-strategizing their approaches to improve uptake of the vaccines, including scaling down vaccination to all persons above the age of 18 years. The acting District Health Officer Arua Paul Bishop Drileba urges the eligible members of the public to embrace the vaccines. “It is true that if we don’t do mobilization this week we may have to face some of these issues. We have a response plan, we have the fuel for mobilization and after we are done we shall follow you with our needles and the vaccines. We intend to kick start this in one of the areas in Vurra and we shall swing into action so that we can reduce this load of part of the 706 vaccines that we still have which should not expire”, he said. Meanwhile President Yoweri Museveni has threatened to sack all district leaders if they fail to mobilize Ugandans for vaccination.
In his televised address on COVID-19 on Wednesday, Museveni directed CAO’s, RDC’s, DHOs to intensify rapid vaccination in their areas of jurisdiction to minimize the expiry of COVID-19 vaccines. His statement comes amidst concerns that 67,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are set to expire at the end of September 2021. The vaccines were part of a donation from Norway. As of Wednesday, over 1.7 million doses had been administered since the vaccination exercise started in March, according to the health ministry.
The country aims to vaccinate about 22 million people, or nearly half the population.
COVER PHOTO: AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines. 706 doses of the vaccines will expire by end of this month if left unutilized. Courtesy photo.