Nile Breweries Ltd (NBL), on Thursday, launched a simultaneous COVID-19 vaccination drive to support the Ministry of Health by setting up walk-in vaccination centres at 20 of its distribution sites across the country.
The launch was flagged off at Fig tree Restaurant and Gardens Kansanga, Kampala and it was presided over by the Minister of State for Primary Healthcare Margaret Muhanga.
It was significantly symbolized by the vaccination of 2 residents of the Makindye division by Dr. Daniel Kyabayinza, the National Vaccination Coordinator, Incident Command, Ministry of Health.
While speaking at the gathering, Minister Muhanga thank Nile Breweries for consistently supporting the Ministry of Health in its anti-Covid-19 efforts. She added that the country needs to use such vaccination drives to reach every area so that the target of 4.8 million is reached to enable government open up the economy in January.
“We foresee that we shall have reached 6 million because this month we are receiving 3.5 million doses of Pfizer and we are also getting more doses of Johnson &Johnson by December. Since it is one dose we shall vaccinate a big mass,” Muhanga said.
The minister also appealed to the public to encourage the older people to go for vaccination because statistics show that their turn up is very low compared to the others.
The two-day drive on 4th and 5th November is to make the vaccine more accessible to up to 10,000 frontline and vulnerable categories of people, among whom are bar workers, a critical value chain of NBL.
The drive follows President Yoweri Museveni’s call to have bar workers included among the 4.8 million frontline and vulnerable categories who should be vaccinated by December to allow schools and the economy to fully reopen, in January 2022.
“At NBL, we believe in safety first and we are committed to safeguarding the health of our employees, customers and communities. This pandemic has shown us that the best way to protect lives is through the private sector and government working together,” David Valencia, Nile Breweries Country Director, said.
“Vaccination is our best chance to protect ourselves, our families, and our colleagues from the dangers of COVID-19, and we hope as many people as possible take advantage of this opportunity,” he added.
NBL collaborated with District Covid task forces to make the mobilization and vaccination exercise possible. In Kampala, the KCCA health team, led by Kampala Health Inspector Dr. Daniel Okello Ayen will be holding the 2-day drive.
“It is important that we vaccinate because we are not only protecting ourselves but also those we love,” he said.
The centres are each equipped with vaccination tents staffed by nurses and a waiting tent allowing distanced seating. All sites will adhere to social-distancing protocols.
NBL has also conducted awareness drives on radio, social media, branded trucks, and live coverage from the sites to encourage Ugandans to get vaccinated to protect themselves and slow the spread of the virus.
According to Onapito Ekomoloit, Legal and Corporate Director Nile Breweries, the onus is on Ugandans to work together to beat Covid 19.
“We are saying, play your part, get vaccinated, because only if we each deliberately put in this effort we will be able to have our economy opened,” he said.
NBL previously donated 300 oxygen cylinders for use in COVID critical-care wards, 25,000kg of maize meal to those threatened by food insecurity during the first lockdown, 2,400 litres of fuel to COVID Task Forces, and medical equipment valued at Shs60 million for Mulago Hospital Intensive Care Unit to assist in the fight against the pandemic.
To crown the vaccination exercise, the public at all the 20 vaccination centers will be given a bottle of beer to carry home and enjoy at an appropriate time courtesy of Nile Breweries Ltd.
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