By Kaya 959 Reporter
Nearly three million COVID-19 digital vaccination certificates have been downloaded so far.
The Department of Health says a total of 2 714 560 certificates were downloaded by 5pm on Tuesday.
More than 21 000 000 vaccines have been administered in SA. However, the department is concerned about the number of people turning up at vaccination sites.
According to reports, many are not returning for their second jab.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has blamed the government for the slow uptake of vaccines. The commission says the government has not done enough to educate communities about vaccines.
SAHRC chairperson Bongani Majola says mandatory vaccinations should be the last resort.
He adds that more needs to be done to educate people on the need for and workings of the vaccines. This, he says, could convince them to voluntarily vaccinate.
The SAHRC also notes that there has been a slow uptake of vaccinations. Majola says this raises fears about the length of time it will take to reach population-wide immunity.
“Data as at 28 September 2021 indicates that, since February 2021, when South Africa started with vaccinations, only approximately 17.2 million doses have been administered while the population estimates released by Stats SA in 2020 indicated that the total population is 59, 62 million,” he says.
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Many still “vaccine-hesitant”
The SAHRC is urging government, business, civil society, and those who have already taken the COVID-19 vaccination, to educate their communities on the benefits of vaccination.
This could help allay fears, and dispel myths and misinformation about the vaccines.
Majola says it is important to note that not all people who have not yet been vaccinated are against vaccination.
He says many of them are “vaccine-hesitant” and require clear, comprehensible information from credible sources to help them make a decision.
“It also seems that some who want to be vaccinated have not been able to get the vaccination, for various reasons, including the lack of required documentation,” he says.
Majola says it is too early to decide on mandatory vaccinations at this stage. Currently, people are not mandated to get vaccinated in SA.
He says the slow uptake of the vaccines coupled with the question of a general mandatory vaccinations regime and the introduction of vaccination passports further fuels the debate on compulsory vaccinations.