The Government of Belgium on Thursday September 22 donated 153,900 doses of the Astrazeneca vaccines to Uganda.
In a statement, the Belgian government said the vaccines are meant to contribute to stepping up the vaccination campaign for teachers and hence ensure the reopening of schools. The delay by the government to secure vaccines in time to roll out a national vaccination campaign has been blamed for the alarming level of delinquency among children as the government fears allowing them back in schools will trigger widespread COVID infections.
Belgium says that with this batch and others to come, will help the safer reopening of schools.
Belgiun says it was responding to a government of Uganda official request for assistance from the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to the Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC).
The request for assistance consisted of administering the second dose of AstraZeneca to vaccinate the 162,026 teachers who received the first dose and 100,000 doses from Johnson & Johnson to vaccinate rural teachers for whom the logistics of vaccination will be facilitated with a single-dose vaccine.
“Every child back to school. Everywhere in the world. That’s my goal. By vaccinating teachers we contribute to providing renewed access to education for as many children, youngsters and students in Uganda, as quickly as possible” emphasises Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Meryame Kitir.”
In his latest address to the nation, president Yoweri Museveni said the government intends to reopen schools in a phased manner starting with Post-secondary I e higher institutions of learning in November 2021.
The Ministry of Education added that lower classes will also be reopened in a phased manner, starting with P.1 to P.3 in January 2022.