According to a new law signed by President Yoweri Museveni, parents in Uganda may face up to 6 months in prison if they fail to vaccinate their kids.
Kids may also be barred from going to school until they have an updated immunization card- including all relevant boosters. The regulation that is significantly severe, has been put to stop the spread of lethal illnesses in Uganda such as: polio and meningitis. At this time, 70 out of every 1,000 kids in Uganda may die before they turn five.
Significantly, this latest regulation will even target the leaders of the developing religious cult called 666, who’re currently spreading the anti-vaccination ideology throughout Uganda and showing parents on not to vaccinate – as hiding children just to avoid the immunization.
It started in a few districts in eastern Uganda but now it has spread and now we are seeing it all over the country,” as health minister, Sarah Achieng Opendi told the BBC about 666.
This is not the very first time that the regulation continues to set to motivate parents to vaccinate their kids. Whereas in Australia, parents lose their welfare and childcare benefits if they refuse to vaccinate their child for anything other than medical reasons, and the state of Victoria has banned the un-immunized children from school and childcare all through out.
The California State of Government is also seeking to do something similar, motivated with a measles outbreak which was provoked by an unvaccinated child at Disneyland in 2014, which ended up infecting hundreds of kids – even though measles have been eliminated in America since 2000.
But Uganda went a bit more severe, using the expectations that the new law can help fight the anti-vaccination message of the 666 cult leaders, in addition to helping improve immunization rates and childhood survival. Presently, around 3 percent of kids in the country have not been vaccinated yet.
Why does it matter if some parents choose not to immunize their children while everyone else is protected? Well, sadly, no vaccine is 100% ineffective, meaning some kids may stay vulnerable after being immunized to the illnesses they avoid.
The Ugandan law was handed down on March 10, and there is still not much information out there regarding who’ll be exempt and just what it involves.