• Countrywide mass vaccination campaign aimed at teachers.
• Government sees this as an opportunity to curb domestic violence and child abuse in homes.
The mass Covid-19 vaccination program, using the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccines started on Wednesday in Kampala with high turn-up of teachers at the centres.
A couple of teachers have spoken of how hard it has been to access the vaccines, especially those that had come to get their first jab.
“I went to Kasangati [Health Centre] earlier but they told me they were only vaccinating those who were seeking the second dose. But [when] I came here today [yesterday] and waited patiently, I was vaccinated,” one teacher said.
Ever since the vaccination started on March 10, teachers have been one of the disadvantaged groups, as they’ve been unable to access the jabs. This is partly because the first batch included a few doses.
Over 21.9 million Ugandans have been fighting for about two million doses of vaccines the country has so far acquired through donations.
Before the current vaccination of teachers at designated centres in schools, the Ministries of health and education came to a special agreement to ring-fence Sinovac for teachers, critical staff and students in tertiary institutions.
Afterwards, the government is to push for the reopening of schools, because it has been mainly dependent on the mass vaccination process.
According to the government, teachers who are not vaccinated risk losing their jobs when schools reopen.
Mr Filbert Baguma, the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu) secretary general secretary, said : “They [experts] are saying we are entering the third wave. Let us get vaccinated so that we can see the schools reopening and children who are facing abuses [because of closure of schools] also get back to school.”