Debates About Mandatory Vaccinations Ongoing

Since the administering of Covid-19 vaccines started in South Africa, people have been told that they have a choice, and the process is voluntary. However, experts have advised for people to get vaccinated as this could help boost herd immunity. 

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Professor Keymanthri Moodley of the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at the University of Stellenbosch said mandatory vaccination is what the country needs to get to the 70% herd immunity by December.  

Retired constitutional Judge, Justice Edwin Cameron, the Chancellor at Stellenbosch University said the law should be applied instead of wagging a finger at people to vaccinate forcefully. 

Justice Cameron advised that places of employment can use their prerogative to persuade their employees, and shopping centres can also decide what kind of direction they will take. 

The former Public Protector, Professor Thuli Madonsela also weighed in saying that people have not been engaged enough about vaccines. 

Something that is undoubtedly a public health emergency. People’s rights needs to be put into consideration. 

Over 20-million vaccines are reported to have been administered since the implementation of the vaccine rollout .

President Cyril Ramaphosa said discussions are ongoing within his administration about mandatory Covid-19 vaccination. 

He said it’s a debate that’s happening in the country as well, and among various companies and organisations. 

He also indicated that South Africa was part of the discussion process and mindful of what our constitution says about the rights that our people have. 

On the 27th of August, the Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla said that no official determination has yet been made. 

Phaahla said ,in his personal view, it is unlikely that an official regulation will be introduced which states that everyone must vaccinate. However, he said it is possible that certain jobs such as the services sector and the entertainment sector could require mandatory vaccines.

The Minister also predicted that fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic could hit the country by December, and we need to be prepared. 

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