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UNICEF Seeks Covid-19 Vaccine Supplier For Uganda

UNICEF Seeks Covid-19 Vaccine Supplier For Uganda

Pressure on the government to find more covid-19 vaccines for Ugandans is intensifying as the previous batch will run out this week. By the end of May, the government transferred $11m (Shs 38.7b) to the United Nations Children’s Fund. This is for procurement of vaccines through COVAX.

However, the 20% funded by Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunization (GAVI)/ COVAX has not yet been completed. As a result of this, a communication specialist at UNICEF, Catherine Ntabadde, said they will only procure vaccines only once this is taken care of.

Currently, it is believed that UNICEF is looking for a supplier for the vaccine. Although, due to the current global shortage, the procurement will only be shipped towards the end of the year or at the beginning of 2022.

‘’Until we identify one [supplier] and ascertain the unit cost, it is then that we will be able to know how many doses we can get from the $11 million,’’ Ms. Ntabadde said.

The government had recently planned a purchase of the vaccine from Serum Institute in India. However, the deal hit a snag after a high burden from Covid. And the sudden increase in demand in India due to the surge in cases there.

The government has since expanded its options on where to get the vaccine.

At least 748,676 Ugandans have received the Covid jab. Dr. Ruth Aceng, the former Health Minister said the government availed Shs85b towards procurement of the vaccine in the next financial year.

According to reports, COVAX had allocated a tentative 3.5 million doses as a donation to Uganda. However, only 864,000 doses were delivered. In two weeks from now, Uganda will receive an additional 175,200 doses of Astra Zeneca.

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