Uganda turns bars into vaccination sites

UGANDA–Bars, often known for selling alcohol, shall for the next one week starting this Thursday turn into temporary vaccination sites.

This follows a partnership between the government and the private sector launched this Wednesday, aimed at increasing the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among the population.

Bars in Uganda have been among the worst-hit businesses since COVID-19 struck Uganda in March 2020.

One of the justifications President Yoweri Museveni made for closing bars and other leisure places were that intoxicated people cannot control themselves after consuming alcohol, therefore being potential super spreaders for the deadly virus.

The move to have selected sites turned into vaccination points will also inform the government’s decision of fully opening the economy once it hits its desired target of vaccinated people among the population.

The selected bars that will be temporarily turned into COVID-19 vaccination sites include; The Alchemist Bar in Bugolobi, Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo and Samitto Bar and Lounge in Naalya, according to Uganda Breweries Limited.

This exercise will take place between September 23 and 29, 2021. The vaccination exercise is free of charge and all one needs is a national ID.

Alchemist Bar for instance announced that everyone that vaccinates from the area will get a free cup of coffee.

“The rejuvenated COVID-19 vaccination drive by Uganda Breweries Limited and Century Bottling Company Limited will complement the already existing public health initiatives by the Ministry of Health and KCCAUG in response to the pandemic,” said Dorothy Kisaka, the Kampala Capital City Authority executive director.

Simon Kaheru, the public affairs and communications director of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda called upon all closed businesses to take the vaccination exercise seriously.

Jackie Tahakanizibwa, the corporate relations manager, Uganda Breweries Limited said, “Through the program, $1m fund has been established to support bar businesses, majority of which are Small Medium Enterprises, to put in place the necessary hygienic and social distancing measures.”

Uganda has so far received a total of 2,153,140 Astrazeneca vaccines, 300,000 Sinovac vaccines, 647,080 Moderna vaccines and most recently 1,674,274 Pfizer vaccines.

Those that have been vaccinated so far are 1,777,685, according to health ministry statistics. —NewVision

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