Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda in Thursday’s afternoon plenary session.

Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda says the first COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive into the country in March 2021.

The premier revealed that 9 million doses have been ordered and vulnerable groups will be first to be vaccinated when the vaccine rollout gets underway.

Rugunda made the revelation today during the plenary sitting. He was responding to a question raised by Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa who tasked Government to explain Uganda’s preparedness to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

In response, Rugunda said that government through the Ministry of Health has worked with the international community and that 9 million doses have been ordered and that they expect them to arrive around March.

He said that March is considered the tentative time because the world is in a situation that is moving fast and that government is closely following the situation to get vaccines as quickly as possible to the people of Uganda especially to the most vulnerable groups that Covid-19 is targeting.

A recent statement by the Ministry of Health indicated that the vaccines applied through the Global Alliances for Vaccines and Immunization- GAVI will be secured from drugmaker AstraZeneca. 

The Ministry says that the vaccines will cover 20 percent of the Uganda’s population and that other plans are underway to secure additional doses of the vaccine to cover more people.

Uganda is currently experiencing surging new infections and on Wednesday 16th, the Country registered 628 new Covid-19 cases bring the cumulative confirmed cases to 29,361. In addition, 3 new Covid-19 deaths were also registered bring the total deaths to 228.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are three COVID-19 vaccines which certain national regulatory authorities have been advised to use, and although none have yet received WHO EUL/PQ authorization, nations like the United States of America-USA, United Kingdom-UK, Germany have started immunizing their citizens with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

However, no nation on the African continent has laid its hands on the vaccine yet. The other vaccines include; Moderna and AstraZeneca whose approvals are awaiting national approvals.