Madhi: We vaccinate people to prevent them ending up in hospital

On numerous occasions, the National Health Department has stressed that the vaccines used in the country are safe.

A woman receives a dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from a healthcare worker at the Zwartkops Raceway in Centurion on 13 August 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

CAPE TOWN - Over recent weeks there's been debates on whether vaccines should be compulsory.

South Africa has administered over 14 million doses in total but there are citizens who are still hesitant to get the jab.

On numerous occasions, the National Health Department has stressed that the vaccines used in the country are safe.

"We vaccinate people not to harm them but to prevent them ending up in hospital and developing severe disease and dying and that's the focus of vaccination."

Wits University professor of vaccinology, Shabir Madhi, said that when it came to healthcare workers, it was important to look at the policy of mandatory vaccinations.

"It's not just about their own protection. As I showed you, people that are vaccinated are less likely to transmit in the households, they're less likely to develop COVID and more important for us, to uphold our oath and that is the protection of our patient and if we have healthcare workers that are unvaccinated, unfortunately, they do pose a risk to patients who might have been vaccinated and still end up in hospital and they pose a risk of transmitting the virus to them."

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