Should COVID-19 Vaccination Be Compulsory?

Batswana have expressed concern over individuals who seem to disregard COVID-19 protocols.

This is after the easing of several restrictions when Botswana emerged from a State of Emergency at the end of September. The embargoes that were lifted included numbers of attendees at public gatherings.

The move to ease restrictions revived the entertainment industry, which had come to a complete halt for a little over 18 months, and that is a long time not making a living.

Musicians, promoters and support staff largely depend on festivals to put food on the table, and festival and music show restrictions meant that this segment of society was going hungry! It is a known fact that large gatherings are super-spreaders of the virus.

Another challenge about music shows is that those who attend them are not keen to protect themselves, as there is usually no social distancing and most do not care to wear masks, making it very easy for the virus to spread. This is an issue that needs all stakeholders to come together and map out a way forward that will safeguard the industry, while at the same time minimising the possibility of the death toll due to COVID-19 complications rising.

The call for injections is currently at the age of 30 and above, which is commendable, but there is a need to move fast and inoculate the age popularly associated with attending festivals and music shows.

While the jab does not prevent someone from contracting the virus, it significantly reduces the severity of the disease. It will be a shame to see our brothers, sisters, cousins, husbands, wives and friends back to a state of not being able to put food on the table, just because some irresponsible individuals are still resistant to changing their behaviours, even after witnessing first-hand the dangers posed by COVID-19.

We have lost a lot of people to COVID-19. One would have thought we all know how dangerous the virus is and would be taking the lead in protecting oneself and others! Having a good time and loving fun is not a crime, but let us do it responsibly, let us not act selfishly, and remember that our irresponsible behaviour can have terrible consequences for many in society.

Many members of our society are still undecided on whether to take the COVID-19 jabs or not. While that may be their right, the government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens, and availability of vaccines permitting, it’s time to consider vaccination cards an entry passport into festivals and areas where people may gather in large numbers.

Editor's Comment
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