Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Faces Resistance

Namiwa (middle) says government should not just copy anything Namiwa (middle) says government should not just copy anything - file photo

By Elijah Phompho

Government's decision to start implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination beginning from January next year in order to increase vaccination uptake in the country amid rising cases of COVID-19 continues to be facing resistance.

On Tuesday, 21st December, 2021, human rights watch dog, Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) issued a press statement in which it argues that government has got no justification in imposing the said vaccines on both willing and unwilling Malawians when it has not in itself proven its efficacy.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa also argues that even in countries with the highest vaccination rate such as Israel and United Kingdom, there are rising cases of COVID-19.

"CDEDI believes that every Malawian has got a right to choose life freely. He can do that either by choosing to be vaccinated or not, it should never be compulsory.

We thus appealing to the Tonse Alliance administration to desist from merely copying whatever other countries are doing be it the lock downs or mandatory policies without any basis," he said.

He further said his organization will be forced to seek courts intervention on the matter should government decides to proceed with it.

Health rights activist Gorge Jobe   has called on government to undertake nationwide consultation on the matter before the implementation of the mandatory vaccination to prevent any possible resistance.

Meanwhile, a recent study by the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES) found that vaccination is key to prevent severe sickness from COVID-19.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda announced that Malawi is to start administering mandatory COVID-19 vaccination among its front-line workers in order to reach its 60 percent vaccination target (about 11 million people) by December 2022. 

Currently, only 3.4 percent of the country's population have been vaccinated.

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