South African society is lit up by discussion and debate about the place of vaccine mandates in the fight against Covid-19. Conspicuous by their absence in this crucial issue are those elected and appointed to provide leadership at local, provincial and national level.
About 35% of the nation is vaccinated, woefully short of the desired target of 90% most experts agree we need to avert the disastrous consequences of recurring Covid-19 waves.
While there are aspects of the South African response to Covid-19 to date that are commendable, the deafening silence on vaccine mandates that have proven effective elsewhere around the globe is hard to understand.
In July this year, France introduced a health passport with proof of either vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test or of past infection required to enter public places. This increased vaccine coverage to 75% and reduced hospitalisation and death significantly.
If this pandemic was a war and more than 250,000 South African lives had been lost, one can only begin to imagine the clamour for the state to do whatever was necessary to resist the invasion and end the carnage. And yet, according to the SA Medical Research Council, excess mortality has been a shocking…