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Coronavirus: Belgium donates 153,900 COVID-19 vaccines to Uganda

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Coronavirus: Belgium donates 153,900 COVID-19 vaccines to Uganda

Immunizing priority groups such as teachers will help reopen schools for more than 10 million pupils and students

BRUSSELS, Belgium, September 24, 2021 / APO Group / –

Belgium will deliver 153,900 vaccines to Uganda. These vaccines will help intensify the teachers’ vaccination campaign and reopen schools to more than 10 million pupils and students. With this, Belgium is responding to the Ugandan government’s request to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

On August 2, the Ugandan government made a formal 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 of Johnson & Johnson to vaccinate the rural teachers for whom the vaccination logistics will be facilitated with a vaccine. single dose.

The 153,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in Kampala on Wednesday, September 22 at 10:20 p.m. This vaccine donation is supported by the Belgian Embassy in Kampala and Enabel – the Belgian Development Agency, in charge of logistics and coordination with the Ugandan authorities.

“Every child goes back to school. Worldwide. That’s my goal. By vaccinating teachers, we are helping to provide renewed access to education to as many children, young people and students in Uganda as possible, as quickly as possible, ”said Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir .

According to Ugandan authorities, vaccinating priority groups such as teachers will help reopen schools for more than 10 million pupils and students. Uganda has seen a new wave of COVID-19 in recent months, with a daily peak of 2,280 cases per day in June 2021 and a confirmed peak in mortality in July (up to 40 per day). On September 17, it was found that vaccination coverage remains very low overall: around 1,622,367 people (out of a population of around 45 million) have received at least one dose of a vaccine. The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in Uganda remains minimal and below the African average. To control the pandemic, the country had to take drastic measures, leading to the complete closure of schools for almost 18 months.

The impact on students (primary and secondary) was particularly severe. The young people have not been to school for 18 months; distance learning is hardly possible due to the lack of equipment and internet connection.

In addition to this bilateral donation to Uganda, our country will redirect 4 million doses to third countries by the end of this year. Belgium mainly uses the COVAX mechanism for this purpose.

At the request of the Minister of Development Cooperation, Meryame Kitir, our country will focus for the next deliveries on Africa and more particularly on our African partner countries, where access to vaccines is sorely lacking. Only 2% of the total population of Africa has been vaccinated. “We can be very proud of the high immunization coverage in our country. But at the same time, I remain very worried because many people in vulnerable countries do not have access to a vaccine. This virus has no borders. International solidarity and cooperation are the only way out of this health crisis. We will only be safe when everyone is safe, ”said Minister Kitir.

To date, two million vaccine doses have been allocated by Belgium for vaccine sharing. Almost a million doses have already been delivered to third countries, of which more than 70% are African countries.

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