KAMPALA – Experts have highlighted the danger of the government imposing vaccine mandates on Ugandans. They were speaking at the 7th Virtual town hall meeting themed; ‘from lockdowns to liberty’.
They reasoned that the government’s continual lockdown and forcing of people to take vaccines is a pure infringement on their right to privacy.
According to Dr. Atugonza, natural immunity is our first line of defence and the body amounting another kind of defence (vaccine) is making it develop adaptive immunity.
“The aspect of natural immunity has taken a back seat in all of this discussion of covid. Natural immunity has the ability to fight on even when the jab has been taken. If you have got covid, whether you have been vaccinated or not, there is a chance for real infection. It is just about the severity,” she said.
Dr Atugonza believes the side effects of the vaccines vary from person to person but thinking that if you are vaccinated you will not get the virus is wrong.
“That is why we advise against mandates because people can still get infected. There are loopholes that need to be addressed in this regard. For example, the aspect of churches being superspreaders is fake science because it is not backed by any evidence and at this stage, it is much more likely that people have already been exposed and have built natural immunity,” said Dr. Atugonza.
Jeffery Tucker, the Founder of the Brownstone Institute said the idea of locking down had never been tried before in the whole world for respiratory disease.
He said the lockdown did nothing to stop or mitigate the spread of the virus and the policies implemented were like an experiment the government put in place to see how they could control people leading to tremendous violation of human rights.
“The sad thing for me is not many people are admitting the effects of lockdown but imposing vaccines on people that are still under clinical trials. The vaccine is not designed to keep the infection away or stop the spread. Whether you lockdown or do not, you shall have issues with covid. It is a choice to remain open or close but neither has a significant difference on covid challenges. Besides, a lockdown is really bad for the economy,” he said.
Tucker who is also an author and former Editorial Director of the American Institute of Economics Research shared that the act of employers forcing employees to take vaccines is lawless behaviour and any employer mandating an employee to take the vaccine is breaking the law.
“This should be fought in courts of law. There is no real case for getting a vaccine if your natural immunity has fought the pandemic before. Covid being politicised has brought a problem in disease mitigation at the hands of politicians. We might see some more lockdowns but all this is political.”
According to Tucker, places of worship had to remain open in the wake of the pandemic to comfort people and continue with the ministry. Tucker said there is no evidence that churches are super spreaders and there is no data to that effect.
“What is happening is that the disease is being used to violate people’s rights. Africa has not suffered as much as Europe. The problem is if you give the government power to control disease, it will just take away people’s freedoms and control them, we need to get smarter and not allow such things to take course,” Tucker cautioned.
Mr Eron Kiiza, a prominent human rights activist and lawyer said the key point to emphasize is that while vaccines may be good, there is no legal perspective for forcing people to have them.
He argued that the mandate of the government is to encourage people to take the vaccines but forcing them is abuse of discretion.
“We have seen this debate rage on in Europe, forcing people to take a vaccine is a serious issue and it has huge human rights implications on body autonomy, consent, ethics and brings into question the whole function of the state vaccinating people against their will,” he said.