Getting vaxxed against Covid-19 will not be mandatory by law: Joe Phaahla

11 October 2021 - 11:27
By Suthentira Govender
Italy will require a Covid health pass from all workers. File photo.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo Italy will require a Covid health pass from all workers. File photo.

The government does not intend to make Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory by law.

That's the word from health minister Dr Joe Phaahla, in response to a recent parliamentary question posed by the IFP.

The IFP asked whether “in light of vaccination hesitancy surrounding the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines, government intends to make vaccinations mandatory by law” and if “such mandatory vaccinations will be required for all persons in the republic by law”.

In a written response, Phaahla said the government had no plans to make immunisation against the virus a legal requirement for South Africans.

“Government's approach is to invest in persuading people to see the life-saving value of vaccination.”

He said the focus was on making people realise its importance, rather than enforcing a law.

The IFP also posed a question about workplace vaccinations, asking whether “the mooted mandatory vaccination will be targeting some industries” and if “government will allow the private sector to impose such mandatory requirements for Covid-19”.

Phaahla said in his reply that “while the state has no intention to make vaccination mandatory, we also have no intention to interfere in internal policies of private and independent institutions, including on public health policies”.

TimesLIVE reported on Friday that about 13-million people are fully vaccinated, which means 33.4% of the adult population.