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In the past few months, the issue of compulsory vaccination against COVID19 or restricting those who choose not to vaccinate has become a hot topic.
In many countries, health professionals and household workers in facilities for the elderly or the disabled must be vaccinated as professional requirements. They are responsible for receiving the vaccine because they are not negotiating to harm patients, colleagues, and their own families. Other professional groups that are close to the public or working in large indoor spaces are also obliged to comply with binding vaccination policies. In addition to medical contraindications, civil society also needs to receive vaccinations to protect healthcare providers and other key workers. In the absence of specific vaccination enforcement guidelines, other measures will be taken to encourage vaccination or promote unvaccinated people. In some cases, incentives are provided for those who choose vaccines. These include monetary rewards or grocery coupons, retail discounts, and lower life or health insurance premiums.
In other cases, less attractive measures have been implemented, such as weekly testing for COVID19 on unvaccinated people. Some countries regions restrict access to places such as movie theaters, nightclubs, concert halls, and indoor restaurants.
Travel regulations are tightening around the world. International flights increasingly require vaccination certificates. A small number of people including Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, who refuse to be vaccinated will be fined up to US$357. Paradoxically, during the entire pandemic, those calling for individual rights and civil liberties were loud and harsh, constantly trying to replace calls for common interests and public interests, and constantly trying to silence the calls for herd immunity through the COVID19 vaccine, overwhelming. South Africa is also studying the issue of vaccination missions.
As a bioethicist, I have no doubt: based on the ethical framework of public interest and public health, vaccine orders are ethically reasonable on several levels. The framework outlined by the researchers is based on the principles of solidarity, effectiveness, efficiency, proportionality, and transparency. It intends to accomplish three things in a public health emergency. First, save lives. The second is the effective use of limited resources.
Finally, create social cohesion and public trust for the public interest. This is no longer a question of whether South Africa should introduce vaccination regulations, but a question of when. The country's constitution and some laws provide for this under certain circumstances and taking into account several factors. Policies and principles In 1985, the UN Economic and Social Council adopted the Siracusa Principles on Limitations and Exceptions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These principles are now firmly rooted in international human rights laws and norms. They demand that any restrictions on human rights must be based on the law. These principles are reflected in Article 36 of the South African Constitution, which deals with restrictions on rights.
The National Health Act No. 61 of 2003 also applies-it contains provisions on notifiable diseases. This also applies to the Disaster Management Law. The restriction of individual rights through vaccination is not arbitrary. South African law requires them to be based on legitimate goals and is absolutely necessary to achieve political goals. As far as COVID19 is concerned, the goal of preventing the spread of infection is clearly in the public interest.
The least restrictive and intrusive means must be used to prove that the responsibility for any restriction on human rights lies with the South African government. The South African Bill of Rights (Article 36) stipulates that any restrictions in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom must be appropriate and reasonable. In addition, the restriction must be commensurate with the purpose of the restriction. Therefore, the greater the public health risk, the greater the restrictions on individual rights. Most importantly, such restrictions must be based on scientific evidence.
They should not be arbitrary, discriminatory or unreasonable. Billions of doses of the COVID19 vaccine have been vaccinated globally and have shown good safety data, which can prevent serious illness and death in most cases. Severe side effects only occur in a small number of people with potential risk factors. Currently, most deaths in the United States have not been vaccinated. A similar trend has also appeared in South Africa. Given these data, compulsory vaccination is sufficient to meet the requirements of appropriateness. Obviously, under its existing legal framework, South Africa can legally introduce mandatory vaccination policies for certain professional and entertainment venues.
For example, Article 23 of the Constitution stipulates that "everyone has the right to fair labor practices." A mandatory vaccination policy can be seen as a fair labor practice-it can prevent harm to everyone. Everyone has the right to a safe working environment. Vaccinated employees can legally oppose the presence of unvaccinated employees in their work environment. It is important to emphasize the COVID19 provisions of the Civil Defense Law. Specifically, Rule 14 (3) states that Anyone who intentionally exposes others to COVID19 may be prosecuted for criminal offences, including assault, attempted murder, or murder. Not extravagant time For the future, improving health literacy is a key prerequisite for improving vaccine acceptance.
It needs to accelerate and quickly expand to cover all communities. However, during a public health emergency, there is not enough time for extended community education. While working hard to provide advice and vaccination skills, a binding vaccination concept is essential in high-risk environments.
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