Vaccine passports not aimed at punishing South Africans - Phaahla

Health Minister Joe Phaahla addressed the issue on Friday while giving an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and the mass immunisation programme.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla. Picture: @HealthZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Government has reiterated that vaccine passports are not aimed at punishing South Africans, but rather to ensure that residents protect each other.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla addressed the issue on Friday while giving an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and the mass immunisation programme.

Officials want 70% of the country's adult population vaccinated by mid-December and there's a current shortfall of 17 million people.

Minister Phaahla said that they were working on a vaccine passport plan to be presented to the National Coronavirus Command Council in around 10 days.

He stressed that not having an immunisation certificate would not bar unvaccinated people from making use of services in sectors like health, education and social services.

"Universities and any other institution will be free to make internal policy - football, cricket, anybody who runs a music festival..."

The minister urged voters to get vaccinated before the local government elections.

"All of us, as we get ready to go and vote on 1 November, remember that it's better to vaccinate before you vote. The two Vs go together - vaccinate before you vote."

Vaccination certificates will be available in electronic or a hard copy.

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