Zackie Achmat
2 minute read
30 Jul 2021
6:00 am

SAHRC’s approach to vaccinations is misguided

Zackie Achmat

Refusal by a person to take a vaccine when there is no medical reason to do so affects the rights to life, health, dignity, safe work environment, education, safe worship and socialising of other people.

Mayfair Johannesburg residents que outside Grosvenor Park Recreation Centre for their vaccine, 21 July 2021. Vaccination sites in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni will open on Sunday. Gauteng has 43% new Covid-19 cases in the country. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has stated that it would be a violation of human rights to compel people to get vaccinated if they have chosen not to. The Gauteng provincial manager appealed to people who feel compelled by their employers to get vaccinated to lodge a complaint with the SAHRC. In response, advocate Jonathan Berger, who worked in the 2000s for people with HIV to have access to medicine, tweeted: “The HRC appears to be opposed to any and all vaccine mandates, regardless of context. That’s deeply problematic.” Berger is correct. The SAHRC position illustrates a...