Ugandans who refuse Covid 19 vaccination are likely to face a jail term of six months if they fail to pay a proposed fine of 4 million Ugandan shillings ($1,139).
The parliamentary committee on health has begun scrutinising Public Health (Amendment) Bill 2021 which seeks to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory.
On Monday, the Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng informed the house that the amendment is important to repeal the obsolete provisions, revise the fines for offences committed and protect citizens.
“we create mass immunity. It is important that whoever is supposed to be vaccinated, is vaccinated.” the minister said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement did not say when the proposed law was likely to be brought before all members of parliament for approval.
With a population of 45 million, only 16 million jabs have been administered. Officials say the public has been reluctant in taking the jab resulting in a low turnout.
Uganda fully reopened its economy last month after two years of anti-coronavirus measures that included curfews, businesses and school closures, the shutting of borders and other steps.
The strict measures helped curb the pandemic but drew widespread criticism from Ugandans whose businesses and livelihoods were affected.
The country has recorded about 163,000 cases of Covid-19 and 3,500 deaths, health ministry data show.