By John Ogulei
At least a total of over 3,000 out of the 5,020 people in Soroti who took the first COVID-19 jab are at the verge of missing their second jab after government delaying to procure the second AstraZeneca jab.
On June 08th 2021, the Ugandan Government through Emmanuel Ainebyoona, spokesperson of the ministry of health Uganda said Government had suspended mass vaccination against COVID-19 as the country waits to receive more vaccines from different sources.
He noted that there are few remaining doses that will continue to be used for priority groups like health workers, elderly and those with other conditions.
Ministry of health figures show that as of early this week, 748,676 people had been vaccinated out of the 964,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that the country received in March.
According to Patrick Okumu, the Soroti District Resident Commissioner, most people in Soroti are at the verge of missing their second jab as the district runs out of the vaccine.
Soroti received a total of 5,300 vaccines and as of 08th March, 2021 5020 people had already taken their first jab with a limited number of them having taken the second jab.
During an interview with this reporter, RDC Okumu said few people have gotten the second jab with the priority being the Health Workers, elderly, teachers and those with other health related conditions.
Last month, the country recalled unused vaccines from upcountry but Soroti wasn’t affected due to the positive response from the public towards vaccination.
“Jabs in Soroti have been exhausted by our people and as we speak we do not have the vaccine for the second jab,” said Okumu.
He also expressed concern over the home base treatment saying most patients under home base care are abusing what they have been asked to do.
Soroti has a total of 78 patients under home based care, 32 at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital isolation centre with 6 in oxygen.
“The Number of Patients at Home base treatment is worrying and most people may end up contracting the virus from these patients because I have received reports that most patients are not abiding with the set guidelines regarding the home base care treatment. I am worried that we might register spike in numbers,” said Okumu.
The Soroti District Health Officers, Dr. Charles Okhadi who also spoke to this reporter confirmed that the district is currently handicapped with vaccine as hundreds of people still visit the vaccination sites yet the district has few doses.
“We don’t have vaccine here in Soroti yet most people who got the first jab haven’t received their second jab,” Dr. Okhadi said.
“We appeal to the members of the public to be calm and maintain the SOPs as we wait for the supply,” added Dr. Okhadi.
The Soroti District COVID-19 focal point person, Dr. Wilson Etolu reports that the centre is receiving the overwhelming number of people who are going for their second jab but the centre is currently without the jab.
Dr. Etolu estimates that 3/4 persons who got the first jab haven’t received the second jab.
The Soroti leaders are now worried that if government fails to secure the vaccine in time most people will be forced to retake the jab.
According to health Experts, the first and second doses have exactly the same ingredients, but each shot awakens different players in the immune system. The first dose is what’s known as a primer and introduces your body to the virus.
“If you miss your second dose, it will not be too late to get a second one for better immunity,” says Sachin Nagrani, M.D., the medical director of healthcare services provider Heal, noting that one can complete his/her vaccine series up to 42 days after the first dose without any impact on its effectiveness.