The fight against COVID-19 just got another major boost. In yet another milestone, UMC Victoria Hospital today launched COVID-19 Vaccination at their ultra-modern facility in conjunction with the Ministry of Health. This makes UMC Victoria Hospital the first private hospital to be accredited by the Ministry of Health to administer the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccines. UMC Victoria Hospital was also the first officially accredited COVID-19 treatment center in Uganda. These vaccines are part of the COVAX facility received by the government of Uganda.
At the launch, a number of UMC Victoria staff led by the Managing Director – Dr. Anurag Shah received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the presence of a group of journalists and some members of the public. Dr. Anurag couldn’t hide his joy. “We led the COVID-19 fight in the private sector so we are very happy that the Ministry of Health chose to start the private sector vaccination program with us”. He further explained that while everyone else was quarantined at home, a number of UMC Victoria staff worked 24 hours a day, living in the hospital premises for over 2 months. “We are therefore happy that our staff have been considered at the start of the vaccination program”.
The COVID-19 Vaccination program is starting with the frontline healthcare workers involved in treating COVID-19 patients. Dr. Anurag urged all Ugandans to take the vaccine. He pointed out that just like any other medicine and vaccine inclusive of Hepatitis B, Polio and many others, a small number of people may develop some side-effects but that doesn’t render the vaccine unsafe. “It is time to break the cycle as our economy cannot afford a large second or third wave” he added. He applauded the Ministry of Health and KCCA for their efforts in curbing COVID-19.
The vaccine in question is the 2-dose Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine that is currently widely being used to vaccinate millions in Europe and the United States of America. The vaccine was developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute & Oxford Vaccine Group with the collaboration of the Italian manufacturer Advent Srl located in Pomezia.