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What you said: Don’t make the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory

18 August 2021 - 10:00 By kyle zeeman
Most readers believe the Covid-19 vaccine should not be mandatory.
Most readers believe the Covid-19 vaccine should not be mandatory.
Image: Gallo Images/Papi Morake

As the country faces rising Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, readers have shut down suggestions that the jab should be mandatory.

To date 9,753,138 vaccines have been administered. Last Friday 153,999 jabs were administered, more than 43% fewer than the daily record of 273,011 set on July 21. Last week’s total was the lowest since the end of June.

Statistics from the health department revealed that in the 50-59 age group, only 14% of women and 10% of men have been vaccinated. About 25% of women over the age of 60 have been vaccinated, but only 16% of men.

Among the suggestions made to ensure the country reaches herd immunity was making the vaccine mandatory.

Health department deputy director-general Nicholas Crisp told the Sunday Times such a move would be a last resort.

“For now, what is happening is that workplaces are independently starting to get their own legal opinions and starting to make it mandatory,” he said.

TimesLIVE ran a poll this week asking readers if they believed the vaccine should be mandatory.

Most (86%) said it was a bad idea and questioned what it would mean for their constitutional rights, 12% said it was necessary to reach herd immunity, and 2% said it should be mandatory only for those deemed to be at high risk.

On social media, many said they were against the idea.

No-one can be forced to take any vaccine or medicine if he or she does not want it. Your body belongs to you and not anybody else. It is your right to say no. If anyone forces you, you can use your right to open a case against such a person,” said Johan Myburgh.

“My body, my choices,” said Mokgadi Kekana Rankena