A soldier of Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) receives a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at UPDF Senior Officers Diagnostic Centre in Mbuya in Kampala, Uganda, March 18, 2021. Uganda on March 10 launched the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination campaign targeting high risk groups in the country. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)
KAMPALA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Uganda on Thursday said it will continue administering the AstraZeneca vaccines despite reports of side effects.
Ministry of health in a joint statement with the World Health Organization (WHO) issued here said the vaccine is safe.
"The ministry of health and WHO would like to reassure the public that the AstraZeneca vaccine which we are administering is safe and effective against COVID-19," the statement said.
The statement said there are no reports of adverse effects or deaths related to the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines in the east African country.
"Minor and wellknown side effects of vaccination that occur with the use of any vaccine such as pain at the injection site, irritation, fever, muscle ache, general malaise, headache and itchiness have been reported but these are of no major concern," said the statement.
"These side effects are mild, not experienced by everybody, and they resolve by themselves within a few days," it said.
Some European countries have suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clots in some recipients.
"The ministry of health together with WHO are keenly following these investigations and as soon as scientific evidence surrounding this issue is available, the public will be informed promptly," said the statement.
Uganda has so far distributed 663,520 doses of the vaccines to all the districts in the east African country, according to the ministry of health.
As of Thursday, a total of 7,920 health workers had received their first COVID-19 vaccine jab in the exercise launched last week in the country.
The country has received the first donation of 964,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX facility vaccine sharing program and the Indian government.