Uganda Anti-Tick Vaccine Passes Clinical Trial with 80% Efficacy

Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries has disclosed that the anti-tick vaccine being produced by Ugandan scientists has advanced through the clinical trial phase and has been determined to be 80% effective, in contrast to the vaccine coming from Cuba.

According to the agriculture minister, Frank Tumwebaze, the Cuban vaccine efficiency rate is currently at 50%, putting up the locally made vaccine for better consumption.

He confirmed the development during the plenary session on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon. Thomas Tayebwa.

The revelation follows an inquiry from Vice President Jessica Alupo, who asked Tumwebaze to update the country on the progress of the anti-tick vaccine during the commemoration of World Food Day, held on October 16, 2023.

Tumwebaze revealed that scientists developing the vaccine had previously begged him not to discuss the matter publicly for security-related issues, and to avoid alerting saboteurs.

“We were advised by the scientists that we shouldn’t keep updating at every stage because some saboteurs may interfere. However, the good news is that the clinical trials have been conclusively done, and the efficiency rate stands at 80%, which is much higher than the only vaccine on the market,” Tumwebaze said.

On October 27, 2022, government officially flagged off the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) anti-tick vaccine for on-farm field trials, noting that ticks have for long been a major challenge to cattle in the countryside, as multiple chemicals have failed to effectively eliminate the pests, leaving farmers at great losses.