Prof David Serwadda
The Ministry of Health had earlier said that no person who is fully vaccinated has either been hospitalised because of Covid-19 or died in the country
Cases of Covid-19 infections are being reported in people who are fully vaccinated against the disease the government chief advisor on vaccine access, Prof David Serwadda, has said.
Prof Serwadda told Saturday Monitor on Thursday that unlike the developed countries where there are plans to give a third dose to boost immunity of vaccine recipients, Uganda may not do so in the near future.
“We have breakthrough infections in the country. But this shouldn’t surprise anybody because there is no vaccine which is 100 per cent effective in stopping disease,” he said.
The New York Times, an American newspaper, reported on Thursday that breakthrough infections in vaccinated people accounted for at least one in five newly diagnosed cases in six of these states and higher percentages of total hospitalisations and deaths than had been previously observed in all of them.
The Ministry of Health had earlier said that no person who is fully vaccinated has either been hospitalised because of Covid-19 or died in the country. But this could probably be as a result of low vaccine coverage.
The US has administered 359 million doses of vaccines but in Uganda, the Ministry of Health statistics as of yesterday, indicate that only 1,248,861 doses have been administered.
Prof Serwadda said the risk of getting infected after receiving Covid-19 vaccine depends on the makeup of the recipient.
“If you vaccinate people with a vaccine which has efficacy of 70 per cent, it means in 100 people, about 30 per cent may get an infection. The infections occur in people who, because of their immunity or makeup, don’t mount a good immune response after vaccination,” he said.
Information from AstraZeneca vaccine developers indicate that the vaccine has efficacy of 76 per cent after the first dose, and 82 per cent after the second dose. This means about 18 per cent of the vaccine recipients are still at risk of getting infected after being fully vaccinated.
The 1,248,861 people who are vaccinated in Uganda include those who received one dose and those fully vaccinated. But if all 1,248,861 are fully vaccinated, up to 224,794 will still be at risk of getting infected.
But Prof Serwadda said the risk of developing severe disease is low for those who are vaccinated. “The people who get infected are those who developed an immune response after vaccination but it was not as strong as others,” he added.
This latest move comes as a big surprise, especially given the acrimony that characterised the run up to and the campaign
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Prof David Serwadda