Wits University professor of vaccinology Dr Shabir Madhi says regulations on mandatory vaccination would be a good idea as it will protect people the pandemic.
However, some say this would be in violation of people’s rights.
South African Football Association (Safa) has offered football fans free tickets on the next Bafana Bafana game if they are vaccinated – saying this is to encourage people to take vaccines.
Professor Madhi says all people should be vaccinated.
“That is the reason why at some point people who want to engage with certain activity they should be compelled to be vaccinated. It is not [only] about protecting themselves, it’s about protecting others and the environment as well,” he adds.
Vaccines may have to be administered every year:
‘Mandatory vaccination aimed at saving lives’
Deans of faculties of medicine at universities say their call for mandatory vaccination against the coronavirus for medical students and healthcare workers is aimed at saving lives.
They argue that this would prevent them from getting seriously ill, because they are exposed to COVID-19.
Currently, there is no law in the country that compels people to get vaccinated. Associate Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, Lionel Green-Thompson, says the call is to save lives.
“We are dealing with a problem of a disease which has a high mortality rate, which continues to burden the health system significantly. The reality is that health care workers have carried the burden of the last three waves substantially at the functional level and emotional level – so what vaccine does it speaks to this environment and offers a solution.”
Healthcare workers in queues trying to get COVID-19 vaccine:
Earlier this week, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in South Africa said it is possible to overcome vaccine hesitancy, particularly among young people.
The ONE Campaign, Unicef and the African Union last month launched a new TikTok campaign, to counter misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines on social media.
Currently, government is vaccinating people aged 18 years and older.