Kampala. The Ministry of Health has halted Hepatitis B vaccination in private health facilities and suspended medical camps sponsored by private health providers.
State health minister in charge of general duties Sarah Opendi also named eight private hospitals that have been cleared to provide Hepatitis B vaccine.
“The general public is encouraged to receive Hepatitis B vaccination from only the accredited private facilities and government facilities as investigations into the matter take course,” Ms Opendi said yesterday while addressing journalists at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Kampala.
She said the only cleared private hospitals to offer Hepatitis B vaccine include; Nsambya Hospital, Kibuli Hospital, Mengo Hospital, Rubaga Hospital, International Hospital Kampala (IHK), Norvik Hospital, Case Hospital and Nakesero Hospital.
“We shall advise the public on the other facilities that have been cleared for Hepatitis B vaccination in two weeks,” she said.
Ms Opendi further indicated that government has recalled all the 10ml vials of Hepatitis B vaccines from the Serum Institute of India from all private facilities and also provided a toll free telephone of 0800-100-066 for the public to report suspected vaccines.
However, those who received shots of the counterfeit vaccine have been living in panic after the National Drug Authority (NDA) last week indicated it had confiscated falsified Hepatitis B vaccines from eight private health facilities in the districts of Kampala, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Wakiso and Mbale.
Dr Medard Bitekyerezo, the NDA board chairman, said the falsified vaccines are not harmful to the body as no person has developed adverse events resulting from being vaccinated.
“We are working with the World Health Organisation to establish the contents of the falsified vaccine and at an appropriate time we shall communicate the results. However, preliminary investigations indicate the vaccines are not harmful,” Dr Bitekyerezo said.
The NDA executive secretary, Ms Donna Asiimwe Kusemererwa, said there is an impression that the falsified Hepatitis B vaccines were stolen from government health facilities.
Ms Opendi said the 10ml multi-dose vial is supplied to the public sector (government) and is identified by a white label with two purple bands at the top and bottom of the label, respectively.