Uganda targets over 10% jabs before schools resume

Uganda is aiming to vaccinate at least six million people against Covid – more than 10% of its population – by the end of the year before schools can re-open.

About 4.8 million of these are categorised as high priority, and they include health workers, teachers, students aged 18 and above, and security personnel.

The education sector will then reopen in January, except for universities and other higher education institutions, which have been cleared to re-open from 1 November.

So far, 600,000 people have been fully vaccinated since the first doses arrived in March – representing just over 1% of the population.

Schools were first closed in March last year and re-opened in phases later in the year. They were however closed again in June this year when the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.

In a televised national address on Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni said there were about 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses available in the country at the moment, with an estimated 10 million more expected to arrive in the coming months.

The president has directed all local district leaders to mobilise the public to get vaccinated, threatening them with dismissal if any vaccines expire on their watch.

He has also eased restrictions on places of worship and social events such as weddings, allowing up to 200 people to attend.

Restrictions remain for bars, concerts and other entertainment events, which Mr Museveni referred to as high risk.

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