“…it’s important that Ugandans appreciate that the pandemic comes in waves, and the peak period between November 2020 and early January 2021 represented the close of 1st wave of the pandemic.”
Dr, Aceng was explaining the falling numbers, that represent punctuation consistence with seasonal variation patterns, which is likely to be followed by the emergence of what can be considered as the 2nd wave.
The Minister also emphasized that this may initially occur as isolated surges in different communities and populations groups, only to later merge into another singular wave, nationally. Uganda, just like other countries globally, is therefore not yet safe.
Uganda commenced home-based care of COVID-19 patients in November 2020. Home-based care was recommended for newly confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients with no symptoms or mild illness, no known risk of developing complications or progressing to severe COVID-19 disease or any patient discharged from treatment center for home care.
So far, 22 districts are implementing home-based care for COVID-19 patients and these include: Kampala, Mukono, Kamuli, Adjumani, Koboko, Lamwo, Lira, Arua, Yumbe, Moyo, Kalangala, Kasese, Obongi, Bukomasimbi, Madi- Okollo, Bushenyi, Mbale, Kiryandongo, Kabarole, Isingiro, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa.
Speaking about the pricing of the COVID-19 vaccine, Aceng said the COVID-19 Vaccine Market Dashboard gives transparency and visibility to information on the COVID-19 vaccine market.
The tool gives an overview of the vaccines in the pipeline, their development stage, and technology platforms. It also provides information on the price points. Currently, the range of reported vaccine prices per dose varies from $2.19 – $44, she added.
All countries have been guided by the Gavi facility to use a working price of 7$ per dose as the planning figure for a vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccine requires 2 doses separated by 28 days apart, which amounts to 14$ per person.
However, on the COVID-19 Vaccine Market, there are differences in the prices offered to countries by the Serum Institute. These prices vary between USD $3 to USD $10.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to get approval for use by WHO on 15th February, 2021.
On Monday 25th January, 2021, Cabinet directed the Ministry of Health to place an order for COVID-19 vaccines to cover vulnerable people estimated to be 20% of Ugandan population (26.7million people).
Accordingly, the Ministry of Health working together with the National Medical Stores (NMS) placed an order with the Serum Institute of India for 18,000,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to commence Phase 1 of the vaccination exercise against COVID-19.