Political parties split on mandatory vaccinations: Is it a silver bullet or not?

This as the South African government mulls a vaccine mandate as infections rise.

Some members of Parliament in the House while others connect virtually on 23 June 2020. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - While some political parties support a vaccine mandate, some on Monday said it was not a “silver bullet” to get more South Africans inoculated.

The South African government is mulling a vaccine mandate as infections rise.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday night that a task team had been set up to investigate mandatory vaccinations.

While keeping the country on level one lockdown, Ramphosa said they were considering making vaccinations compulsory for certain public spaces and activities.

This comes as infections rise with the detection of the Omicron variant.

But Democratic Alliance health spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said while vaccinations were low with only a quarter fully vaccinated, a vaccine mandate was not the only answer in South Africa’s context.

“In South Africa, our vaccine uptake has been rather poor with only 35% of South Africans fully vaccinated. Therefore, what is quite important is that it’s not just going to be a silver bullet to say that you have mandatory vaccines, you’ve got to also look at how government has been communicating and how government has been rolling out community outreaches so that we can reach people where they are.”

Good Party secretary Brett Herron took to social media, saying we cannot keep begging people to take up a freely available vaccine and it was time for some vaccination mandates.

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