Olive Najjuma, Brunch Talk Presenter today hosted Daniel Tumwine, a businessman and paediatrician at Children’s Clinic Naalya to discuss whether vaccination against Covid-19 should be mandatory.
The doctor, who has been very vocal towards vaccination, began by explaining the importance of vaccines that have throughout history helped to prevent severe disease.
“Vaccines have been the most important human invention after fire and wheels and that was used to prevent people from severe diseases such as Polio and Tuberculosis. It's very important that most of us get vaccinated because this will not only create a herd community against severe infection but also protect the vulnerable people that can't get vaccinated such as those undergoing chemotherapy and people with primary immune deficiency,” he explained.
Olive then inquired about his opinion on countries that have mandated vaccination which in Uganda has begun in certain government institutions.
The Paediatrician responded by defining the difference between compulsory and mandatory vaccination saying that some diseases are limited to threatening the life of an individual while others risk the whole community thus limiting human freedoms.
He went on to add that sometimes these rights have to be restricted if they risk the lives of others that are more likely to die from individual decisions.
“There’s being forced to be vaccinated in order to get employment and there’s requiring one to be vaccinated to keep their jobs. Public health and individual freedoms are both important but when a disease like Measles is likely to kill children at the hands of a teacher who has refused to get vaccinated, then that would be an issue.”
“Covid-19 like Measles are very infectious and not as lethal to the individual as Ebola. If one gets Ebola, there’s a 70% chance that the person will die because they would be bleeding and their movement will be restricted because of low energy. However with Covid, T.B and Measles, people are more asymptomatic which makes them more deadly,” he said.
He added that since Covid-19 is more transmissible, it would lead to a lot of infections because even those that are asymptomatic can spread the disease to ten other people hence spurring deaths making the disease a public health issue which will call for mandatory vaccination in order to curb the epidemic in a country setting.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1pm on RX Radio.