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Experts urge government to drop move to vaccinate children against COVID-19

Dr Renee Hoenderkamp

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | As Ugandan authorities plan to start vaccinating children aged 12 to 17 years against Covid-19, experienced medical experts continue to disagree with the move, urging authorities to drop the idea.

“I’m completely against vaccinating healthy children against COVID-19,” Dr Renee Hoenderkamp, a qualified medical doctor working for NHS alongside her clinic said via an online recording.

At the end of last month, Uganda’s health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, told Uganda Radio Network that they were planning to start vaccinating children against covid 19 following increasing reports of COVID-19 positive cases in schools which reopened in January after two years of closure.

Dr Hoenderkamp, says vaccinating children against covid is wrong because the risk benefit analysis just is not there to justify vaccinating “our children with a vaccine that we do not have any long-term data for…so we do not know what risks are for our children in the long-term.”

She says, COVID-19 is not a major threat to children and so there is no point of taking them.

She adds: “We know there is a risk of myocarditis which is inflammation of the heart and we do not know what the long-term ramification of that maybe for some children however small, it does not matter. Let us please pause the rollout of vaccines to children now.”

Hoenderkamp says, Omicron is here, it is even milder than before.

“…85% of children by the end of January had had it, and so have some underlying immunity, so it is time for them to just get on with life and they do not need this vaccine,” Hoenderkamp said.

Beyond vaccinating children, there have been similar calls to governments not to force people to get vaccinated against covid.

Eva Mugisa, a pharmacist based in Uganda said recently at a covid-19 virtual townhall meeting that governments should focus the understanding of managing Covid-19 on prevention, treatment and not vaccination.

Mugisa said, the recovery rate for COVID-19 amongst the patients has been recorded at over 90% in Uganda and many other countries which means ‘vaccination is not a silver bullet to fighting the disease’ and that natural immunity has a lot to do when it comes to managing the pandemic.

She also said that the use of herbal medicine like Covidex have proven to be an effective treatment approach for several people who are not even vaccinated against the covid virus.

Dr. Ruth Aceng said, recently after appearing before Parliamentary Health Committee, “Those who resist vaccination and yet know that they will obviously be a danger to the public, to the people they inter-relate with, obviously, will have to undergo some punitive measures. The Public Health (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has a section on vaccination and immunisation, specifically, as a public health measure to protect the vulnerable.”

Section 47 of the Principal Act (2) stipulates that a person who fails or neglects to comply with a requirement made under this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points (Shs4 million) or to imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

Simon Ssenyonga, a lawyer based in Kampala says that unfair legal regimes targeting those ‘violating’ COVID-19 vaccine mandates should not be supported, but instead, the people should be given other options of managing the pandemic.

3 comments

  1. This is totally against freedom of choice. Secondly, how come there is no law against not being vaccinated against whopping cough…wasn’t it deadly… why force people to get vaccinated unless there is a hidden agenda behind it all.

  2. Ruth Acheng is a mad women who needs rehabilitation.For Gods sake the world has moved on concerning covid why is she pushing for mandatory vaccination for a mild disease like covid??

  3. The COVID 19 vaccination should not be given to children, because of the side effects of the vaccine is adverse, compared to the manifestation of the variants of COVID

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