As the world is grappling with vaccinating its population, Uganda too is still in the same vehicle. The President recently stated that for the economy to be fully operational, we need to have atats 4.8 Million people vaccinated against COVID-19.
As a country with nearly 50 million people, we have so far vaccinated about 1 million and one wonders when the entire 4 million will be vaccinated so as to allow the economy to fully open. As we are still struggling with handling mis information about vaccination, ensuring proper education (not mere mass call for vaccination), various institutions and offices have already set up their own standards in the absence of a national legal framework concerning accessibility of social services and vaccination. It is also not true that Ugandans have shunned vaccinations, many have continued to line up for the same despite being disappointed with lack of vaccines at the designated places.
I have seen different offices demand that services will only be available to those that have fully been vaccinated. Where do these institutions draw this mandate from? For one to force every individual to vaccinate before they can access services without a proper regulatory framework is intsly callous and illegal. Even if there comes into place such a legal framework, which in itself is contestable in light of human rights,the implementation should be gradual and not sudden.
We do not have enough vaccines for everyone in Uganda and it is therefore unfair and unreasonable for one to demand that in order to access services, one must be fully vaccinated. I have seen tertiary institutions, offices of some RDCs and other places requiring one to be fully vaccinated in order to access services yet it is not any one’s fault that they cannot access vaccines. This is illegal and unfair and must be addressed. We need a harmonised approach and road map to this and we should not be treated as animals but rather taught about vaccines and their usefulness otherwise we risk losing a rather good initiative to individual selfishness.
The Ministry of Health should come out and guide on this issue otherwise many Ugandans are already losing their admissions, failing to access services all in the name of vaccination which vaccines are also not available to all. We need a harmonized policy on this issue otherwise, we shall be fetching water in a basket!
Partner:Thomas & Michael Advocates| Director: Envirogreen Trust Ltd| Member: World Youth Alliance| Chair Working Group (Regional Integration for Economic Development)-Young African Activists Network (YAAN)
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