EDITORIAL | Rewards, not penalties, will be more effective for vaccine drive

With the vaccine rollout starting to stutter, the way in which we engage people to come on board will be vital

12 September 2021 - 21:36

Tertiary institutions are mulling over how to deal with the rules around vaccinations for students. Sunday Times Daily  (https://select.timeslive.co.za/news/2021-09-09-be-sports-and-vaccinate-students-or-tertiary-bodies-may-make-life-prickly/)reported last week that some are considering making unvaccinated students take regular Covid-19 tests. The hope is that the thought of having to go for a Covid-19 test every 72 hours to prove you are not sick will be enough motivation to rather get vaccinated. Some universities, colleges and technikons are considering rewarding the vaccinated, allowing them more privileges, such as participating in sports and cultural events. This is a much more constructive way of dealing with a polarising issue where different sets of rights come into play, including the rights to freedom of choice and the right to be protected from spread of disease.

Sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa made all the right noises last week when he announced the “Return to play — It’s in your hands” campaign to encourage vaccinations instead of enforcing a culture of jabbing. SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan made it clear an unvaccinated fan won’t be welcome at a stadium, adding that Safa was looking at the possibility of giving away 50% of tickets to a Bafana Bafana match to vaccinated fans. This approach should be welcomed with open arms, though cynics may argue that Bafana has been battling to fill up stadiums. Rugby writer Liam del Carme (https://select.timeslive.co.za/sport/2021-09-09-sa-rugby-once-again-shies-away-from-tackling-big-issues/) pointed out in his Sunday Times Daily column that the SA Rugby Union has been ominously quiet on the exact same matter. It needs to step up. ..

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