No one will be forced to get COVID jab: Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said no one would be forced to vaccinate but those who had been inoculated had a right to feel safe.

Vaccinator at Moses Mabinde stadium in KwaZulu-Natal for COVID-19 vaccinations. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday that those who refused to get vaccinated were also violating the rights of others.

He clarified that no one would be forced to get vaccinated but those who had been inoculated had a right to feel safe.

Ramaphosa was responding to questions about vaccination from ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe who has questioned vaccinations.

The president had a word for Meshoe, telling him to stop telling people not to get vaccinated.

“Those leaders, like Reverend Meshoe, should desist from discouraging people from vaccinating and claiming bible verses.”

GOVERNMENT PUSHES FOR VOLUNTARY VACCINATIONS

As the debate continued, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said it was not government's priority to think about legislation or regulation that would force every adult to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Briefing the media on Friday, Phaahla said government was not oblivious to the current debate about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace but explained that the conversation was not the government's to have.

He said these discussions would be left to industry, service providers and employers to decide on policies they wanted to put in place as long as they were lawful.

Phaahla said government's priority was to allay people's fears and to mobilise and convince them to voluntarily get vaccinated.

However, government has been exploring the possibility of offering incentives to encourage South Africans to get their jabs.

The incentives won't be in the form of money but might be enough to convince some individuals who haven't yet been inoculated to get their shot.

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