The government has said mass vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 against Covid-19 will start on August 22nd to contain the pandemic and guarantee continuity of learning.
In an interview with our reporter, Dr Michael Baganizi, the deputy manager of the Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunisation (UNEPI), said more than 1.2 million children in that age bracket have so far been vaccinated but the target is 6.6 million.
Baganizi said Children who received the vaccines are those who were in the village, those who came with their parents for vaccination or their parents authorised health workers to vaccinate them.
He added that this new drive, which runs from August 22 to September 3, is to give children who were in boarding school the opportunity to be vaccinated.
However, some parents and activists have raised concern over the safety of the vaccines, with some saying the risks of the adverse reactions after vaccination outweigh the benefits but the Ministry of Health said the argument is false, malicious and lacking in substance.
A senior official at the Ministry of Health said the interest of parents in vaccination is low.
Dr Joyce Kaducu, the State Minister for Education, said parents, guardians or sponsors must consent for a child to be vaccinated.
This directive came after complaints from parents that their children were being vaccinated in schools without their consent.
Last month, Members of Parliament voted against the mandatory vaccination of children that the government had proposed.