Rights Commission Raises Alarm Over Forced Vaccinations

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has raised concern over corporates that are forcing employees to undergo the COVID-19 vaccination saying it infringes on their rights.

In a statement Tuesday, the Commission said whilst it is aware that vaccination is for the general protection of citizens, their rights ought to be protected.

“The Commission acknowledges the initiative of testing and vaccinating frontline workers. However, a number of media platforms have raised concerns of corporations directly coercing employees to undergo vaccination, disregarding the employees’ freedom of choice, integrity of the person, right to dignity and existence of underlying medical conditions. Some public institutions and private companies are allegedly prohibiting unvaccinated employees access to their premises or workstations and others are purportedly having their salaries deducted.

“While the ZHRC is aware that vaccination is for the general protection of the individual’s rights to health and life, the Government of Zimbabwe is urged to continue encouraging citizens to consider being vaccinated since vaccination is both a personal and national responsibility for the protection of personal health as well as the health of others,” noted the Commission.

ZHRC commended the Government for the policy position on vaccines and called on stakeholder to avoid forcible measures.

“It is the duty of the Government of Zimbabwe to balance the need for increased vaccination so as to reach herd immunity with freedom of choice. The Government Zimbabwe has taken a commendable policy position to allow free choice by individuals with regards to uptake of the COVID – 19 vaccines. It is therefore important for all stakeholders to avoid any coercive measures that directly or indirectly compel people to get vaccinated against their choice.

“In view of the above, the ZHRC makes the following recommendations: the Government of Zimbabwe is urged to; continue providing free vaccines for the benefit of everyone in Zimbabwe. Provide a consistent supply of vaccines in all areas nationwide. Intensify both media and non-media based programmes to raise awareness on the importance of vaccines and encourage the populace to freely take up COVID-19 vaccinations for the protection of their right to health and the health of others.” noted ZHRC.

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