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Democratic Alliance opposes making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory

20 January 2022 8:05 PM
Tags:
Democratic Alliance
Gwen Ngwenya
mandatory vaccination
vaccine mandate

John Maytham speaks to Gwen Ngwenya, Democratic Alliance Head of Policy.
  • The DA supports Covid vaccination but opposes making it mandatory
  • The party believes government should target specific groups like healthcare workers, over 50's and those with commodities
  • DA head of policy Gwen Ngwenya says private institutions should be allowed to decide whether or not to enforce a vaccination policy

Vaccinated against Covid-19. © oneinchpunch/123rf.com

The Democratic Alliance says it strongly opposes the idea of making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory, but stresses the importance of being vaccinated against the disease.

The party's head of policy, Gwen Ngwenya issued a statement on Thursday, detailing the DA's stance on vaccine mandates.

According to Ngwenya, a mandatory vaccine policy ignores evidence of some degree of natural protection through prior infection. She adds that according to University of the Witwatersrand Professor of Vaccinology Shabir Mahdi, 73% of the South African population has some degree of immunity.

The DA however says private institutions should be left to decide what is best in terms of enforcing a vaccination policy, based on its own risk assessment.

Ngwenya says the social risk needs to be assessed if vaccination is to be made mandatory.

Those who propose mandatory vaccination policies was usually based on alleviating pressure on the hospital system. We do not see significant pressure placed on the hospital system at present due to Covid-19.

Gwen Ngwenya - Democratic Alliance head of policy

We have epidemiologists telling us that over 70% of the population has immunity, either through vaccination or from prior infection.

Gwen Ngwenya - Democratic Alliance head of policy

RELATED: [WATCH] DA accused of 'pandering to anti-vaxxers' after video on mandatory jabs

Covid continues to have an age related risk profile, meaning those over 50 and those who have comorbidities, maybe even healthcare workers. It might be better for us to focus our interventions on those particular categories.

Gwen Ngwenya - Democratic Alliance head of policy

The party believes that private institutions should consider alternatives to mandatory vaccination.

According to Ngwenya, alternatives to vaccination would be a negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 hours, a recent antibody test, or a positive Covid-19 test that is older than 14 days.

We think it's important to recognise other alternatives, elsewhere where there are these passport certificates which don't only recognise vaccination, but also recognise a Covid test or prior infection.

Gwen Ngwenya - Democratic Alliance head of policy

Ngwenya says a more practically achievable strategy is to target the high-risk groups for vaccination and boosters, which includes the 50+ age groups, those with co-morbidities, and healthcare workers, as opposed to targeting universal coverage.

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview.




20 January 2022 8:05 PM
Tags:
Democratic Alliance
Gwen Ngwenya
mandatory vaccination
vaccine mandate

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