Should the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory?

May 31, 2021 1126 views 10 comments 2 minutes reading time
Should the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory?

Just over a year after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Africa, over 4.5 million Africans have contracted the virus. In a continent of over 1.2 billion people, only eight doses per 1000 people have been administered so far. Health experts fear that this may prevent herd immunity which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), would need at least 60% of the population to be vaccinated.

There are other challenges which are slowing down the inoculation rate. Firstly, some people are sceptical of the effectiveness of the vaccines especially against new strains of the virus identified in countries like South Africa.

Secondly, the inaccessibility of proper storage facilities for vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna on the continent means that Africa has a limited number of vaccines to choose from.

Thirdly, vaccine hesitancy among the population due to disinformation has also hampered the rate of inoculation. One of our readers, Thembeka, said that he was sceptical of the COVID-19 vaccine because he had read a lot of misleading information from social media platforms, which has made him decide against getting vaccinated. Thembeka represents many Africans who are misinformed about the vaccines.  

To get a reaction, we put Thembeka’s comment to Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, The WHO Regional Director for Africa. How would she respond?

For another perspective, we also put Thembeka’s question to Dr. Githinji Gitahi, The Group CEO of Amref Health Africa.

On Thursday, 20th May, in line with the theme of the G20 Health Summit, the Africa Europe Foundation held an online debate titled, “Nobody is safe until everyone is safe.” It was steered by Agnes Binagwaho, former Health Minister of Rwanda and the Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Health, together with other stakeholders from Africa and Europe.

You can re-watch the discussion here  

Should the COVID-19 Vaccine be mandatory? Would making it mandatory improve the inoculation rate? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image by USAID in Africa via Flickr 

Comments

SA

Top Comment

No bcos nobody who takes this vaccine will stay more than 2 years, there's an agenda

TB
No, those not interested in the vaccines must not be forced to take it.

EM
No

JI
No.it should not be mandatory.why so much emphasis on covid yet the diseases that are ravaging the continent are HIV and malaria.covid is not that bad in Africa and the leaders are just using it to enrich themselves like in my country Kenya.covid has generated overnight billionaires

DK
No! No!! No!!!

AN
No no no no no no no no no no.

KT
No, It shouldn't, some people don't believe in it.

AN
Absolutely! We all have a societal duty to end this pandemic.

UK
Yes

PO
Never! IT'S A DRUG AND RECEIVING DRUGS A PERSONAL CHOICE. IT CAN NEVER BE BY FORCE, NEVER IN THIS DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION