Uganda Police Force kicks off COVID-19 Vaccination Exercise
At least 20,000 officers of the Uganda Police Force will receive COVID-19 vaccines in an exercise that kicked off today Wednesday at the Police Headquarters in Naguru.
Only 20,000 out of at least 47,000 police officers will be vaccinated against COVID-19 after only 20,000 doses were dispatched to the force. Only personnel aged 50 and above as well as those operating from border points will be given the first priority.
The exercise was launched by the Chief of Joint Security, Maj Gen Jack Bakasumba, who represented the Inspector General of Police Martin Ochola. Police directors were the first to receive the jab as an example and to give confidence to others, who are doubtful of the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Chief Political Commissar Asan Kasingye, Director of Operation Services Edward Ochom, Director Human Resource Management Jesse Kamunanwire, Director of Crime Intelligence Brig Chris Damulira, Director of Human Resource Development Godfrey Golooba, Director Forensic Science Andrew Mubiru and ICT Director Felix Baryamwisaki received the COVID -19 vaccine at the event today.
While speaking to the personnel, Gen Bakasumba noted the police force mans over 15 entry points and that the numerous numbers of people they attend to at the border points put them at high risk of getting COVID-19. The force set up 15 teams that will carry out the vaccination exercise across the country.
Police Director for Health Services, Dr Moses Byaruhanga also noted that Police Officers with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension will be considered in the first phase of vaccinations.
He added that all Division and District Police Commanders have been ordered to ensure that COVID-19 is always part of their Monday briefings.
In April 2020, a COVID-19 task force team was also commissioned by IGP Ochola, to ensure all police personnel follow SOPs intended to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Now, Byaruhanga says the task force has helped to keep numbers of infected officers very low compared to other government institutions.
Only 167 COVID-19 cases have been registered by Police since March last year when the first positive case was recorded in the country. At least six police officers have succumbed to COVID-19.