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COVID-19 jabs only effective with mass vaccination - experts

Experts say without mass vaccination even those vaccinated already remain at risk

Experts say without mass vaccination even those vaccinated already remain at risk

The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will only be able to offer protection against the coronavirus disease and stop deaths or severe cases after more Ugandans have been vaccinated, health experts have said.

According to the experts, the reported deaths of already vaccinated personnel does not prove that the vaccine is ineffective, but rather that more people need to get vaccinated so that herd immunity can be built.

So far at only 3.3 per cent of the targeted 26.7 million people have received one jab in Uganda, yet the country needs to vaccinate at least 65 per cent of its population. Last week, Uganda received another 175,000 vaccine doses donation to add to the earlier 900,000 doses received from the COVAX Facility and the Indian goverment. More vaccines are expected in the country next month. 

Dr Misaki Wayengera, a virologist and head of the ministerial Covid-19 scientific task force, says more vaccinations need to be carried out and that people who have been vaccinated need to continue protecting themselves for at least 20 days to guarantee their safety.

"After vaccination the level of immunity is low. Immunity is built after a while. People who have been vaccinated need to observe all SOPs for at least 20 days as the body builds immunity," Wayengera said.

"Vaccines work in a communal manner; you need to have more people vaccinated to protect one another. You cannot be the lone island that you're the only person who is vaccinated and you're living among people who are not vaccinated, and you think you, you will be protected. The amount of exposure will be too high, ultimately you might get exposed. Some people might have been vaccinated with one jab." he said. 

Adding: If you have 60% vaccinated, it means amongst 100 people, only 60 will be protected that is the first dose. If you have the second dose, it means 92 per cent will be protected, 8 will not be protected. It means that those 8 will still be exposed, they might get severe disease, they might die. But if you have more people in community vaccinated, then the chances that you're protected even increase. It is the compounding thing that we call mutualism. You're more safe if you're seated among vaccinated people."

As of now, there's no data to indicate how many vaccinated people have succumbed to Covid-19 in the country. However, in light of the high number of infections being reported, Dr Alfred Driwale, the programme manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme (UNEPI) says deaths if any should not be a surprise since vaccines cannot protect all persons.

According to Driwale, with every vaccination that takes place, 14 per cent of those vaccinated are likely not to receive protection offered by the vaccine. As such, they might need a booster dose to get protection or be protected by others getting vaccinated.

"From the word go, we all know that no vaccine is 100 per cent effective. If the effectiveness is 86 per cent which means 14 per cent of the people will not benefit from being vaccinated. At an individual level those who will not benefit, the 14 per cent will bear the consequences, the side effects against what we're vaccinating people. Therefore, if you look at these figures in absolute terms, it may not give you a good picture but it is more important to compare the people who are vaccinated with the outcomes of those who have not been vaccinated," Driwale said. 

The second round of vaccination is expected to start next week on Monday and only people getting their second jab will be vaccinated.  However, with Covid-19 variants circulating in the country, some of which have proved to be resistant to vaccines, Wayengera says more than two doses of the vaccines might be needed.

"Right now, there are studies that recommend getting more than two jabs of the vaccines for optimal protections especially in settings with variants. So we might need to do that but even then, people will need to take precaution after getting each dose," he explained.

Comments

+3 #1 WADADA rogers 2021-06-27 09:42
These so called health experts are behaving like commission agents who will be entitled to a kick back if they push for mass immunization in Uganda. vaccination is a personal initiative and it only helps the person who has taken the jab.

Besides immunization does not stop somebody from catching the diseases although the effects are mitigated if one has taken the jab. I dont buy into the mind games being played
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+1 #2 Henry Baisi 2021-06-27 21:04
Please, my fellow countrymen and women, stop panicking. Yes, there is a problem with COVID in Uganda, but it is not as bad as it sounds.

People need to observe the SOPs. If you think you have caught COVID, self-isolate. Boil together Lemon, Ginger, and Garlic and drink during the day and before you go to bed.

If it of any consolation, in my Muluka in London called Sutton, 600 people died from COVID out of a population of 207000 people. That was bad and has not gone away.

However I have said to myself, I cannot and I am not going to die in England from COVID. My people in Bukono need me alive. So Vitamin C, Blackseed oil, Garlic, Lemon and Ginger are part of my regular food menu. Do the same and you will thank me.
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0 #3 kabayekka 2021-06-27 21:06
"Vaccines work in a communal manner; you need to have more people vaccinated to protect one another. You cannot be the lone island that you're the only person who is vaccinated and you're living among people who are not vaccinated, and you think you will be protected. The amount of exposure will be too high, ultimately you might get exposed. Some people might have been vaccinated with one jab." he said.

Now it seems this is a poor African country that has got to realize that it cannot function without the modern information technology in all the country's everyday lives!
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+1 #4 kabayekka 2021-06-27 21:34
The public transport is all locked up. That is all wrong.

The political opposition must be respected and given a voice as soon as possible. So that a political unity of all the political parties is at once installed to run the governance of this infected country.

This will allow this government to have enough accountable money to buy vaccines. Online communication costs must be reduced at once especially for the broadcasters of TV and Radio, medical, business and educational institutions to communicate nationally and internationally.

The curfew should be scraped at once to allow life giving activities to go on 24 hours. Even mass vaccinations must continue to be done for 24 hours a day.
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0 #5 M!K! 2021-06-28 00:30
This is Uganda's first real covid19 wave. It is real,and if not handled properly may lead to total socio-economic collapse and political instability.

Uganda's health care infrastructure is reeling from the pre-wave ripples. And it may totally collapse before even the wave's crest lashes.

Public policy must quickly move beyond just haphazard lock-down to better thought out ways of addressing the pandemic and the challenges it brings. Government must suspend all unnecessary expenditure.

The savings and every other available resources must be directed towards shoring up the country's health care infrastructure and also help the 99% of Ugandans who are struggling.

Help to the people means better voluntary compliance during the lock down and less expenditure on massive security deployment which only drains more resources away from efforts to address a healthcare challenge. H

ow much have these massive deployments cost the country already? More than enough to spend on vaccines for all!
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0 #6 M!K! 2021-06-28 00:49
Mr. Museveni's government should not say that there is no money to fight the pandemic.

The first lock-down gave the country a grace period during which to prepare even with the diminished revenue due to reduced economic activity.

But the government, away from the ill-advised heavy handed approach of massive security deployment, has had minimal functions which ideally should mean some savings.

Where are the savings from monies initially budgeted for foreign travel that did not take place? Where is the money saved from the usually big state house entertainment budget for foreign dignitaries who did not visit?

Where is the money saved from the education budget when education was not happening? Where is the money and all the logistics realised from collections from charity during the previous lock down?

And Mr. Museveni owes Ugandans an explanation on these and much more. And he can't say that everything was blown away by the wind like those infamous billion shilling tents which kited off.
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