Kasese rolls out COVID-19 vaccination in schools as cases reemerge.

Kasese district has resolved to vaccinate children in schools following a resurgence of infections.

This, according to authorities, will be the best way to control the new wave of the virus due to non-compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and failure by the schools to feed data into the school surveillance system.

The vaccination will target all children aged between 12 and 17 and will be conducted from June 15-21, 2022. According to authorities, the district registered 15 new Covid-19 cases in a period of five days. Fourteen of the affected are learners from schools within the municipality and one traveller from Ntoroko district.

Prior to the re-opening of schools, the government drafted guidelines aimed at creating a safe environment for schools amidst the Covid pandemic. One of these was the school surveillance system that was supposed to enable health and education officials to easily identify possible clusters of the disease.

However, Kasese district authorities say that very few schools have been submitting reports, which has created a blind spot. In addition, the ministry eased on a number of SOPs including wearing face masks and social distancing.

Samuel Kabinga, the Kasese district disease surveillance focal person, says that as cases re-emerge, vaccination of children has been identified by authorities as one of the means to reduce transmission and infections in schools. He says the exercise will target children who missed the vaccination and those who received only one jab.

Kabingo says all the 15 confirmed Covid-19 cases are under home-based care and are in stable condition. He adds VHTs are monitoring them on a daily basis to record the progress of their condition. Kabinga adds that the district is also strengthening the school health surveillance reporting.

Kasese resident district commissioner, Lt Joe Walusimbi, says that the situation could get out of hand if there is no adherence to the Covid control guidelines established by the ministry of Health. He says the district still has vaccines and appeals to the unvaccinated people to get the jab.

Earlier last month, the minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni said vaccination of children should have the consent of parents. In March, the ministry of Health revealed that they were arranging to vaccinate 16 million children aged between 5 and 12 years.

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