KAMPALA, UGANDA: Government through the Ministries of Education and Health has scrapped the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination exercise in all schools across the country.
According to statistics, more than 16 million learners aged 5 to 17 years were supposed to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a mass vaccination campaign between May and June 2022 in schools countrywide.
However, government has now suspended the exercise and advised parents who are interested in vaccinating their children to take them to hospitals and other designated centres.
While addressing the media on Tuesday, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the vaccination of learners will be rolled out during the holidays to enable parents to decide whether or not they want their children vaccinated.
She also explained that under the new government directive, no child should be vaccinated while at school and no school should be turned into a vaccination centre.
The head teachers in both public and private schools have also been warned against illegal Covid vaccination mandates.
The State Minister of Education, Dr Joyce Kaducu, reiterated the First Lady’s position that no child should be vaccinated without the consent of parents or guardians.
Even where the parent(s) consent, the minister maintained that children should be vaccinated from hospitals and other designated centres.
“For you to vaccinate the children, their parents, guardian or sponsors must consent. And this process means that we must not vaccinate at schools. That means you go with your daughter or son to a vaccination centre. You have to consent before vaccination is done, “Dr Kaducu said.
“This matter is being taken to Cabinet that will approve modalities of where do we want to vaccinate, whom do you want to vaccinate and who is to consent. Cabinet will approve and Ugandans will be informed, but for now, no vaccinations at schools are allowed. This is our position on this issue and it’s clear,” she added.
This comes at a time when some schools had already drafted what they termed as COVID-19 vaccination consent forms which were sent to parents. The forms had already generated anxiety among parents who were against vaccination.
The vaccination of staff and learners has been an area of contention since the exercise was started last year in March.
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