Teachers should not be forced to take the COVID-19 jab, Uganda National Union of Teachers-UNATU has said. The body is opposed to the directive from the Education and Sports Ministry compelling all teachers to take the jab.
According to Filbert Baguma the UNATU General Secretary, although the idea of vaccinating all teachers is good for their own safety, it is not right to coerce them to take the jab.
He adds that government should get back to the drawing table and design a new approach that will encourage the teachers to voluntarily embrace COVID-19 vaccination instead of piling on them pressure.
Their concern stems from a directive issued by Alex Kakooza the Education Ministry Permanent Secretary to all teachers to get vaccinated to stop the spread of the pandemic in schools, amidst resistance from some teachers.
Kakooza’s directive followed the poor turn up of teachers at the COVID-19 vaccination centers across the country, with only 8,517 out of the 550,000 teachers expected, having shown up for the jab as of last week.
Different local governments set timelines for the vaccination of the teachers. Teachers in Kampala central have two days (Wednesday and Thursday) to show up at Bat valley primary school for vaccination.
However, teachers say that instead of forcing teachers to go for vaccination, government should carry out a sensitisation campaign to attract the target group.
Teachers are suspicious of the exercise given the information being shared regarding the vaccines.