National Medical Stores blocks unvaccinated Staff and Visitors from accessing office premises

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KAMPALA: National Medical Stores (NMS) has issued a notice blocking unvaccinated members of staff and visitors from accessing the office premises.

In a media advisory issued on Thursday October 14, NMS’ Principal Public Relations Officer, Sheilla Nduhukire stated that all staff and visitors must now present proof of full vaccination before admission into the NMS premises as the entity “stepped up efforts” in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a government agency mandated to buy, store and distribute medicines
(including Covid-19 Vaccines), we are leading by example and ensuring that all
our staff and visitors coming to our premises are fully vaccinated to comply with
the President’s directive on full covid-19 vaccination. We, therefore, expect all
our staff and visitors to comply with these new measures to avoid any
inconveniences’’, Nduhukire said.

The new NMS directive to staff takes effect immediately, while the notice to visitors comes into effect on Monday, 18th October 2021.

According to the advisory, NMS Management also resolved that all individuals who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 should present a COVID-19 negative PCR test result taken not more than 72 hours.

Nduhukire said that the move is in line with the Government of Uganda directive
to ensure vaccination of all eligible Ugandans as a condition for full reopening of
the economy.

A government-owned organization in Uganda, mandated to procure, store and distribute human medication and health-related consumable items to government-owned health units in all districts of Uganda, NMS has head offices in Entebbe in Central Uganda, but also has regional offices in Kampala, Arua, Gulu, Hoima, Kabarole, Fort Portal, Mbale, Mbarara Regional Office: Mbarara, and Soroti.

NMS says at the onset of covid_19 vaccination, it vaccinated all her employees, casual laborers, security guards and cleaners who consented to the exercise.

Uganda like most of developing countries has low vaccination rates largely attributed to Global vaccine inequalities with developed vaccine-manufacturing countries withholding the vaccines leaving poor countries with less choices. However, the country is currently undertaking a nationwide vaccination exercise using vaccines recently acquired from USA and other countries.

To date, the Government of Uganda has received 5,690,363 Covid-19 doses, of
which 2,378,171 doses have been utilized countrywide. At least 2,080,594 are
currently being distributed across the country whose target is to fully vaccinate 21 million people.

Uganda recently received it’s first batch of government procured Johnson and Johnson (J & J) COVID-19 vaccines amounting to 196,800 doses. The procurement is part of the nine million doses of the single shot vaccine that were sourced through the African Union.

The recent acquisition has seen the Ministry of Health intensify campaign for vaccination taking health centers to several places around Kampala City including places of worship as the country is seeking to hit a target of about 4.8 million high risk groups including mainly those above 50 years.

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