South African Activist, Zackie Achmat, has called on the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to work with government in their call for people to choose to vaccinate against the coronavirus.

This after the SAHRC stated that it would be a violation of human rights to compel people to get vaccinated if they have chosen not to.

Achmat says efforts to achieve population or herd immunity should not be undermined.

“There are people who are very willing to take the COVID vaccine, then there are people who are hesitant and then there are people who are ideological denialists of COVID or vaccines and so on. What we need from the SAHRC is not to say that government should not mandate vaccines, what we need from the SAHRC is to go out on a large scale and say every person in the country has the right and duty to be vaccinated. What the SAHRC is doing instead is undermining government’s efforts.”

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has received his COVID-19 vaccine at the Mitchell’s Plain Day Hospital, as part of the province’s plan to motivate residents in the area to register to receive their jabs.

Mitchells Plain has been identified as one of the areas in the province where vaccine hesitancy is high.

Winde has used his vaccination as an opportunity to urge residents in Mitchells Plain to also get their vaccines as soon as possible.

He says pressure on hospitals due to COVID-19 could be eased significantly if more people are vaccinated, as vaccinated people are less likely to develop severe forms of COVID-19.

Winde says more sectors of the economy, the events industry and the sports stadiums will also be able to open completely, once the province reaches herd immunity, through vaccinations.

Around one million people have been vaccinated in the Western Cape thus far.

Western Cape department of health ramps up vaccinations amid the third wave of COVID-19 infections: