By Ritah Kemigisa
Teachers in Uganda have been asked to actively seek and get covid-19 vaccination as new supplies of the vaccine become available.
The joint appeal is made by the United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU).
According to Filbert Baguma, union’s General Secretary, this is in recognition of the critical role that teachers play to secure the future of Uganda’s children.
He says although the government included teachers among the top priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination, over 80% of them are yet to receive the first dose of the vaccines.
Baguma notes that of the 550,000 teachers, only 110,000 have taken the vaccine.
It is against this background that UNICEF country representative, Dr Munir Safieldin urges all teachers to use their capacity as educated members of society to save themselves and the country from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We urge the government of Uganda to continue prioritising the vaccination of teachers and to provide the necessary support in terms of human and financial resources for the urgent vaccination of the teaching and non-teaching staff and learners”, says Dr Safieldin in a statement.
Last month Uganda received its second batch of 175,200 COVID-19 vaccine doses from the COVAX facility, a donation from the Embassy of France in Uganda.
According to the health minister Dr Jane Ruth Acheng, more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are expected in August to ensure continuity of the vaccination exercise that resumed late last month following a halt due to shortage of the vaccine.