COVID VACCINE

Ordinary politicians should not get priority vaccination

In Summary

• President Museveni has denied that he has secretly been vaccinated with the Chinese Sinopharm virus

• Controversy has erupted in countries around the world where top politicians have jumped the queue for vaccines

Covid-19 vaccine
VACCINE: Covid-19 vaccine
Image: FILE

Controversy has erupted in Uganda after the Wall Street Journal reported that President Museveni and top politicians had been "offered" the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. Museveni has denied that any Ugandan leaders have been secretly vaccinated.

Similar scandals have erupted in Peru, Lebanon and the Philippines where presidents and politicians have been accused of jumping the queue to get access to Covid vaccines.

Around four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will start arriving in Kenya in March. Who should get them? The government has already said that frontline health staff and workers in essential services will be prioritised. But are politicians essential workers? Should they be prioritised?

Arguably the President, his Cabinet ministers and their PSs are essential workers because they head the machinery of government. If they become sick, the administration might grind to a halt. Perhaps they should receive early vaccination. That would also give the public confidence that the vaccines are safe.

But the average politician including MPs and MCAs should not receive priority treatment. Their work is not 'essential' and in any case they mostly do not respect social distancing and mask wearing in their public functions.

Quote of the day: "All places are alike, and every earth is fit for burial."

Christopher Marlowe
The English playwright was born on February 26, 1564