Museveni’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination is a bad idea. Here’s why

On December 2, 2022, the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, issued new COVID-19 rules. Museveni said no one would be allowed to enter public places without an up-to-date vaccination certificate. The COVID-19 certificate must show that the holder has gotten two doses and a booster of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The government’s decision is coming at a time when Uganda is fighting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Forced vaccination measures reduce citizens’ confidence and trust in the government’s approaches to dealing with health emergencies. Mandatory vaccination measures can also breed chaos between citizens who disagree and those enforcing them. Instead of forcing vaccination on Ugandans, Museveni should work with local community leaders to drive an effective vaccination. The government can also partner with private organizations to incentivize COVID-19 vaccination.

About 60 percent of the Ugandan population 18 years and above have received at least two vaccine doses. However, only 6 percent of children aged 12-17 have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Museveni said the current vaccination coverage still falls short of the country’s target of 28.5m eligible Ugandans (22 million adults and 6.5 million children). The president’s desire to vaccinate more people is plausible, but his approach is faulty. Forcing vaccination on Ugandans has more cons than benefits. Here are some recommendations on how Museveni can get more Ugandans vaccinated without taking away their rights and privileges…..

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