The ministry of health has disputed rumors that consumption of alcohol after one has taken a COVID-19 vaccine shot affects the vaccine’s efficacy.
Minister Aceng made the clarification during a press briefing on Thursday at the Ministry Headquarters, organized to provide an update the on the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
“I would like to reiterate that individuals who consume alcohol should get vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure that they are protected from hospitalization and death due to COVID-19″ Dr Aceng said.
According to the minister, rumor has been circulating stating that after receiving the vaccine, one should abstain from alcohol consumption for at-least 45 days which is not true.
Dr Aceng says there is no scientific evidence to prove that alcohol impairs the effectiveness of the vaccine and therefore people can take a COVID-19 vaccine and take a drink as long as the alcohol taken is in amounts prescribed by professionals.
“Remember, excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health” Dr Aceng added.
According to the brief, 144,025 people have so far received their 1st dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine availed to Uganda under the COVAX facility and the Government of India. The national vaccination program was rolled out on 10th March 2021 starting with high risk groups.
The nationwide campaign is ongoing and vaccination is taking place at designated health center IIIs, IVs, General Hospitals and Regional Referral Hospitals.
She stated that COVID-19 Vaccination is voluntary and free of charge and urged Ugandans to go for this vaccine when their turn comes. Dr Aceng also urged members of the public to report any individuals who solicit money to administer the vaccine.
“This is a criminal offence, and the responsible officers will be apprehended and punished according to law” she noted.
On the private sector collaboration, private organizations intending to import COVID-19 vaccines should write to the Director General Medical services at MOH, Dr Henry Mwebesa, and explicitly state the type of vaccine they intend to import, where the vaccine will be imported from, how to maintain the cold chain, storage, and how they will manage adverse events.
Dr Aceng however noted that vaccines for use in Uganda MUST be cleared by the WHO for Emergency use and the National Drug Authority (NDA) for use in Uganda