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COVID-19 statistics scare people from getting vaccinated

I got my first doze in May 2021, after so much persuasion from my dad. I remember he told me one morning not to come back to his home if I don’t go for vaccination. He insisted that I should bring him a card for evidence that I had been vaccinated.

He also said the nature of my job was too risky and even I might be required by my bosses to get the vaccines, in order for me to be allowed to continue working. So, I woke up by 6 a.m. one Friday morning and went to a Hospital, because there it was first come first serve. By 7 a.m., I was already there.

At the hospital I met three gentlemen of about 50 years already at the scene waiting to be vaccinated. That day the whole place was full of people, unlike these other days, because that morning, news was all over the local radios that 80 cases of covid were found in Oyam District.

It seems to have brought everyone who had boycotted the vaccines at first. The place was so crowded that one could have again contracted the virus from there, because there was nothing like social distancing and people were all struggling to get vaccinated.

The doctor came and announced that the turnup for that day was much abnormal as compared to any other past days, when people could be even less than ten for the whole day. That day the turn up was over 500 people! They even came from far villages.

the doctor made an announcement that he would start with teachers and it brought a lot of confusion because the people who came earlier got annoyed and some started saying teachers were given first priority and most of them prior boycotted the vaccination exercise. And so now they should have to wait for people who came first.

I was the fourth person to reach the hospital for the vaccines that day but because people already started using the ‘technical know who’ – if you have no connection, you don’t get the vaccines early, because even the doctor started saying that the vaccines would not be enough for everyone.

I got my vaccines at around 2:45 p.m. in the afternoon after getting a connection. I was almost giving up and I wanted to leave the hospital, but my dad called his friend who’s a doctor at the facility and he came and took me and my sister and we were finally vaccinated.

I don’t know what happened to the other people who remained, but there were still very many to be vaccinated. All I know is that if it had not been for that connection, I wouldn’t have got the vaccines. My next doze will be in August, am eagerly waiting to finish.

By Dorah Adoch Komakech, a young adult that is benefiting from the CPAR Uganda project: “Mentoring young adults into innovators against poverty”, and because of that is also participating as a researcher in another CPAR Uganda project: “Challenging Categories: Educated unemployed youth as institutional innovators in rural Uganda” that CPAR Uganda is implementing in partnership with Lira University and the University of East Anglia.

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