CAO orders mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for job applicants in Pader

Teachers, frontline workers in Uganda being compelled to mandatory COVID-19 jabs
The COVID-19 vaccine in Uganda has been available in a phased manner from March 2021 starting with priority groups most at risk of COVID-19 infection. COURTESY PHOTO/MoH Uganda/2021

Pader, Uganda | URN | Persons shortlisted for jobs in Pader district in Northern Uganda will not be interviewed if they do not present proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The move for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for job applicants is in line with a directive issued to the District Service Commission by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Alex Chelimo.

The district has registered a poor turn up for the ongoing vaccination exercise. Only 9,017 people have been vaccinated with 7,178 people receiving the first jab and only 1,839 people receiving second doses of vaccination. The district has also recorded 1,212 infections and lost 19 people to the pandemic since its outbreak last year.

The CAO has now directed the District Health Officer to deploy a team of health workers to ensure that all people who present themselves for interviews are vaccinated before facing the panel. The directive came as the District Service Commission started conducting interviews for 1,313 applicants shortlisted for the different public service positions that are currently vacant.

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Chelimo says that the district officials have instructions from President Yoweri Museveni to ensure that they mobilise the public and civil servants to get vaccinated and those who fail on their targets will equally be relieved of their jobs.

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He disclosed this during a presentation on overall government policies and priorities during the budget conference for the financial year 2022/2023 on Thursday.

Chelimo explains that the district has received an additional 6,480 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, 2,310 does of Modena and 1,390 of Sinovac to ensure that all people who will turn up for their interviews are vaccinated before their interviews.

However, the local leaders present during the district budget conference have protested the CAO’s move, saying this would infringe on people rights.

The district councillor for Ajan sub-county, Anywar John Chris says it is not good for the district to subject people to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination as a precondition for being interviewed.