As South Africa braces for the impact of the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, the Department of Health is continuing to encourage people to get vaccinated against the virus.
Earlier this week President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that he is awaiting a report from a recently set up task team on making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory. He said that once this report is received, the cabinet will be in position to make a decision on the matter.
“Vaccination is essential for our economic recovery, because as more people are vaccinated more areas of economic activity will be opened up. We can do our work and socialise under less stringent restrictions, and our lives can return to some degree of normality”, said the President.
Ethnographer Carmen Murray says that South Africa is mixed when it comes to mandatory vaccinations.
She revealed that 50% of people say they would get the Covid-19 vaccine should it be made mandatory. She says that 40% of the people said that they would not take the vaccine even if it were mandatory while only 10% said they would consider it.
Executive Director at Amnesty International, Shenilla Mohammed says they are opposed to a blanket mandatory vaccine policy. She says that instead of forcing people to take Covid-19 vaccines, they must be educated about the scientific benefits of taking a vaccine.
She said, “we believe that no one should be forced to receive a vaccine without their consent and in line with the world health organization's recommendations, we believe that governments must focus on voluntary uptake and public awareness campaigns and these must be in the forefront of these efforts”
According to the Department of Health, 14 833 839 or 37% of the over 18s are now fully vaccinated. There are currently 86 728 active cases of Covid-19 cases in the country after 6 3 81 new infections were reported on Monday. An additional nine people have passed away due to Covid-19 related illnesses. The recovery rate in the country stands at 94.2%.