Unlike other countries like Rwanda, America where Presidents and their immediate family members have taken Covid Vaccine Jabs, In Uganda neither President Yoweri Museveni nor his wife have been seen publicly taking a jab.
In a televised address to the Nation last night, Museveni said he is not yet decided on whether or not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus because they are still undecided on which COVID-19 vaccines to use.
Museveni’s comments come against reports that he had already taken the COVID jab using a Chinese vaccine, who h reports he disputed.
In Uganda, it was the Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng and the permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine who volunteered to take the first COVID-19 jabs in the country not even the 1st deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali who launched the vaccination despite being over 70.
While addressing the nation on Sunday March 14, despite being above the vulnerable age of 60 and a Head of State , Museveni said he is yet to take a vaccine just because he is undecided on which vaccine to use.
“ I am also still trying to decide on which vaccine to take. Whether the Chinese, Russian or the Astra Zeneca.” Museveni said.
He added that he is protected from the virus since the system at State House is strong and well cushioned and protected from the virus.
“ I have not yet been vaccinated, and neither has Janet(First Lady). We wanted to start with the high-risk people.These are the ones working in hospitals dealing with patients. The reason I have not been vaccinated is that I am quite careful and well protected by the system here,” Museveni said.
He added that he has decided to delay his vaccination so as to give health workers who are at high risk the first chance.
“Janet and I did not get vaccinated because we wanted to give priority to health workers who are more at risk,” he said.
Government had resolved that the first batch of vaccines would go to people at most risk of contracting the virus including health workers, teachers and security officers.
Museveni’s revelations come at a time when countries are suspending the Use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The country had ordered 18 million doses of the vaccine. The use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has however sparked debate elsewhere.
Countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Africa, Austria, Canada among others, have suspended the use of the vaccine as a precautionary measure or banned its use after recording adverse reactions among some users.
The government resolved that the first batch of vaccines and decide that these would go to people at most risk of contracting the virus including health workers, teachers and security officers.
According to the Health ministry, over 1,215 people mostly health workers have so far received the COVID-19 jab.
The Ministry says it selected AstraZeneca because it is cheaper compared to other vaccines and can easily be stored. Each vaccine jab costs $4 and the vaccine needs to be stored between 2 and 8 degrees celsius whereas the other vaccines need negative temperatures which require special storage facilities.
Although Museveni is still undecided on which vaccine to use for himself, he says that the government will procure more of Oxford/AstraZeneca from India. The country had ordered 18 million doses of the vaccine.
As of March 14, Uganda had recorded 40,581 cases of Coronavirus and of these 12,313 people have recovered while 334 others succumbed to the disease. Only 24 people are still admitted to hospitals with the coronavirus.