A parliamentary health committee said Tuesday it was considering proposed legislation to fine or imprison unvaccinated people in the East African country of around 45 million people.
“According to the proposal, those who do not get vaccinated against Covid-19 will be fined Shs 4 million (around $1,137) or a jail term of six months.”
Uganda reopened for business last month after two years of severe containment measures which had seen schools and trading activities shut down.
Speaking to members of parliament on Monday, health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the proposed fine of 4 million Ugandan shillings was an amendment to the current fine of 2,000 shillings ($0.57).
Aceng added that the bill seeks to “protect the vulnerable” and “create mass immunity.”
“When we introduce new vaccines, we need to get a mass of people so we create mass immunity. It is important that whoever is supposed to be vaccinated, is vaccinated,” Aceng was quoted in the parliament’s statement.
The parliament said its health committee “has commenced interacting with different stakeholders to enrich the bill,” but no timeline was given for its endorsement of the legislation.
CNN has made attempts to reach the health committee and ministry spokesperson for comment.