Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Drug Authority-NDA has announced that unvaccinated staff and visitors will no longer be allowed to access its offices.
According to a statement released on Monday, effective November 15, only persons vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines will be allowed access to the office premises.
NDA is the third organisation that has taken this stand following the health ministry and the National Medical Stores. Recently, Parliament and the Ministry of Agriculture also made it mandatory for all staff and visitors to be vaccinated.
Abiaz Rwamwiri, the Public Relations Manager NDA says the move is meant to protect their staff that come into contact with many people everyday.
According to NDA, visitors or staff that are not vaccinated will have to present a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours before.
Daily, 100 people on average are estimated to access the authority offices to apply for licenses of their products, clinics and pharmacies. Abiaz says the decision is being made to make sure that their staff remains safe since they work at all times.
While organisations are taking the stand to enforce vaccine mandates, lawyers and health rights activists say it is illegal. They argue that the mandates leave these organizations open to legal redress since there is no law to back up such decisions.
Dr Amon Aruho, a health rights lawyer and activist said that instead of victimizing people about not being vaccinated, health officials need to work towards sensitising people about Covid-19 vaccination.
“Instead of stopping people from accessing premises because they are not vaccinated, these health officials need to explain to people about what the vaccines are and why they should get them. I think that would help people make informed decisions about vaccination instead of denying them entry,” Dr Aruho said.
Records from the health ministry show that 3.1 million doses of the vaccines have been issued in the country.