News & Events

Govt stands ground on penalty for unvaccinated

Daily Monitor 22/2/2022 (Parliament Photo)

Government has maintained its stand on issuing penalties towards individuals who refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19.  This follows dangers unvaccinated individuals continue to pose to the country.

“Those who resist vaccination and yet know that they will obviously be a danger to the public, to the people they inter-relate with, obviously, will have to undergo some punitive measures and it is clearly spelt out in the Act,” Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health told journalists (on the sidelines) after appearing before Parliamentary Health Committee yesterday.

“The Public Health (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has a section on vaccination and immunisation, specifically, as a public health measure to protect the vulnerable,” she added.

Section 47 of the Principal Act (2) stipulates that a person who fails or neglects to comply with a requirement made under this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points (Shs4 million) or to imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

Before her interaction with media, Dr Aceng had interfaced with the Health Committee to make a presentation on the Bill before legislators.

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Public Health Act to repeal the obsolete provisions including revising the fines for offences committed under the Act and repeal provisions on venereal diseases.

Enacted in 1935, the Public Health Act, Cap 281, has never been amended and for this reason, the Bill seeks to address the emerging public health challenges the country continues to grapple with.

“There are new emerging public health threats, epidemics such as ebola, Marburg, Covid-19 and so, we have to definitely amend the Bill so as to be able to take care of that (rising health concerns),” Dr Charles Ayume, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Health Committee said.

“We also compare to the World Health International regulations on the spread of diseases. So, somebody failing to conform to particular behaviour and character or specific SoPs (Standard Operating Procedures), you are not only endangering yourself but the community around you, so, I think these penalties should come in force,” Dr Ayume said.

Act

Section 47 of the Principal Act (2) stipulates that a person who fails or neglects to comply with a requirement made under this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points (Shs4 million) or to imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

By Esther Oluka, Daily Monitor.

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