KAMPALA, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Uganda will start vaccinating children under 15 years old against COVID-19 once the country receives supplies of the Pfizer vaccine, a senior government official said on Monday.
Monica Musenero, a senior presidential advisor on pandemics, told Xinhua by telephone that the country would first target children at risk of contracting the virus.
"Uganda is hoping to get doses of Pfizer vaccine and when we get them, we can vaccinate children. They are a few doses, so we shall only vaccinate those children who are at risk of severe disease," said Musenero, who is also the minister for science and technology.
She said children with diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, or any other disease which puts them at high risk would be priority.
"Pfizer was approved for use in children who are 12 years and above," she said.
"Those children who fall in that category cannot be vaccinated using AstraZeneca because it is not approved for use in anybody below 18 years but with Pfizer, we can vaccinate those children," the official added.
Uganda is this month expected to receive 647,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the World Health Organization COVAX facility. It is also expected to receive more doses of AstraZeneca and a donation of Sinovac vaccine from China.
Uganda has so far vaccinated over 1.1 million people against the virus.
Scientists in the East African country said if more than 21 million people, or nearly half of the country's population, are immunized, COVID-19 would be put at bay.
By Sunday, the country had registered a total of 92,490 infections and 2,557 deaths due to COVID-19 since March last year. Enditem