President Yoweri Museveni and the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni have today got their first doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine as protection against the COVID-19 virus.
Speaking shortly after being vaccinated, the President urged Ugandans to get the vaccines as protection from severe sickness and death.
“I have been briefed about these vaccines. This one we have just taken has also been taken by Ugandans at high risk of infection including medical workers, soldiers, teachers, etc. We are not as high risk, but now we decided to take it. This vaccine protects one from the Chinese virus.. the one they call wuhan virus and the virus circulating in Kampala here but does not protect you from the virus from South Africa and Brazil,” he said.
The President said he decided to take the vaccine because it protects one from severe sickness and death.
“Although it may not stop the SA and Brazil virus from entering the body, but if it does, you will not be very sick and you will not die,” he said.
The President said he is working with Ugandan scientists to fasttrack our own vaccine.
“I am working with our people to develop our own vaccine. We are not just sitting…we are a bit late but we believe our vaccine will target all COVID-19 variants. My people will be ready to experimenting on mice by June and by August, with permission from the World Health Organisation, we should try on humans,” he said.
The President said government will procure more doses of the astrazeneca vaccine.
“They say the one of Johnson and Johnson is good because you take it once. But with this one we have to do another vaccination. I encourage people to take this one. It does not solve the whole problem, but it stops severe sickness and death,” he said.
Dr. Ruth Achieng said the vaccine protects from severe disease and death.
“The more people get vaccinated, the greater the opportunity for all people to get protected and also to ensure that we don’t congest our hospitals with very sick people. It’s important that people get vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine which is available now as we wait for our own vaccine that is in the process of research. The vaccine will protect Ugandans and help them not to go to hospital.
There are several strains of the virus circulating including the variants from South Africa, Brazil, United Kingdom and others. Even in Uganda there are variants but these do respond to the Astrazeneca vaccine. So it is important that you take it,” she said.