Cape Town – The South African government is working on a vaccine passport plan that is set to be presented to the National Coronavirus Command Council in around 10 days, the Minister of Health Joe Phaahla has said.
According to EWN, Phaahla said that the vaccine passports were simply immunisation certificates aimed at making sure that residents protected each other, and not to punish South Africans.
He reiterated that no unvaccinated person would be barred from making use of services in sectors like health, education, and social services.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last Sunday announced plans to introduce the Covid-19 vaccine passports amid widespread scepticism of the jab.
After sluggish vaccine procurement and a delayed roll out, Africa’s worst-hit country for Covid is now struggling with low take-up, particularly among men.
In a televised address to the nation, Ramaphosa stressed that an immunised adult population was key to fully reopening the economy and avoiding a fourth infection wave.
In two weeks, we will “be providing further information on an approach to ‘vaccine passports’, which can be used as evidence of vaccination for various purposes and events”, he said without providing further details.
Just over seven million people in South Africa have been fully vaccinated to date, with more than a quarter of all adults jabbed with at least one dose.
The country aims to inoculate 40 million South Africans – around two thirds of the population – by March next year.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu
Additional reporting by AFP