Monday, January 17, 2011

Yellow Fever Vaccine in Uganda

On January 14, one million doses of Yellow Fever vaccine finally arrived in Uganda. After waiting for weeks for the vaccine to arrive, Uganda will still have to wait until Jan 22nd for the administration of the vaccines.

Yellow fever is a hemorrhagic disease tranmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The disease causes kidney failure and has already caused 48 fatalities amongst the 190 people affected. Though the country should be widely administering the vaccine (helping booster Uganda's herd immunity), the health ministry and the International Coordinating Group (ICG) delayed the vaccine due to scarcity and political climate.

Was the postponement justified? After weeks of waiting, the health ministry still has only 1 million of the 2.5 million necessary doses for mass vaccination. Vaccinations are scheduled to start on Jan 22, but the national disease control commissioner declared that more vaccines will only be ordered once other districts (other than the already affected Kampala) have tested positive for the virus.


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