The Ministry of Health has cautioned health care providers against duping unsuspecting Ugandans into receiving more than one dose of yellow fever vaccination.
The ministry made the plea in light of the forthcoming yellow fever vaccination campaign that will take place from the 27th to 29th of September, 2017.
According to the ministry, healthcare facilities that carry out yellow fever vaccination have been telling their clients that they need to get new jabs every after 10 years which is no longer the case.
On July 11, 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) put into force the amendments to International Health Regulations on yellow fever. This means one no longer needs booster vaccinations after ten years.
The amendments changed the period of validity of the international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever and the protection provided by vaccination against the infection from ten years to the life of the person vaccinated.
The changes were based on the recommendations by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation. The experts conducted a scientific review and analysis of evidence on issues concerning vaccination against yellow fever in 2014.
Dr. Benard Toliva Opar, a Programme Manager at the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (UNEPI), says that health workers should not deceive anybody that the vaccine expires after 10 years.
//Cue in; “It is once…
Cue out…have got one.”//
In health care facilities, yellow fever vaccination jabs cost between 50,000 and 150,000 Shillings.
Dr. Opar says Uganda stopped the 10-year renewable jab following the WHO recommendation.
//Cue in; “In as far…
Cue out…add another dose.”//
Dr. Opar says that people who have had a jab taken should not get another one whether it was 20 or 50 years ago.
//Cue in; “So whether you…
Cue out…to add any.”//
He explains that instead of getting periodical new jabs, people should make sure that they keep their immunisation certificates that have batch numbers well to avoid any complications when they need to travel.
Dr. Opar says that just like any drug, taking more than what is needed for a complete dose of yellow fever vaccination might lead to side effects.
//Cue in; “Like any other…
Cue out…be necessary injections.”//
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yellow fever vaccines can lead to fever, aches, severe nervous system reaction and organ failure in some cases.
According to UNEPI, Uganda has had two major yellow fever outbreaks in the last seven years. In 2010, there was an outbreak in the Northern part of the country, while last year another outbreak was reported in Masaka, Rukungiri and Kalangala districts.