Old Mutual Ltd will make it mandatory for all its employees in South Africa to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Vaccinations are proving to be the key to unlocking economic activity, returning life to a more normal rhythm, preventing severe illness and death, decreasing transmission rates, as well as reducing the emergence of new variants of the disease,” chief executive officer Iain Williamson said in an emailed statement on Friday.
The policy will come into effect from January and staff will be required to submit proof of their vaccination status to the insurance company.
Deputy President David Mabuza meanwhile has expressed concern that the country could fail to vaccinate close to 40 million citizens by the end of 2021, as South Africa races to reach herd immunity.
“I’m not very sure whether we are going to reach our targets, the 70% that we are yearning for. It looks far-fetched. I’m sure that we are going to revise our targets,” he acknowledged on Friday.
According to the latest statistics, South Africa has distributed the Covid-19 vaccine to over 13 million or 33.21% of the adult population out of the 39 798 201 or 70% government is aiming to reach.
“It’s quite clear that we’re left with a few weeks, and we are almost somewhere about 40% and 70% is a very tall order to reach.”
Leading the vaccination social mobilisation campaign in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape, the Deputy President has once again used his voice to encourage people to take the lifesaving vaccine, as a number of South Africans refuse the Covid-19 jab.
Deputy president Mabuza said citizens needed to visit their nearest vaccination sites for immunisation. “Vaccinate to protect your friends, families, and the prosperity of our country,” he encouraged citizens.
According to the deputy president, reaching population immunity should be everyone’s biggest motivation to ensure lives are saved.
“We should avoid the possible fourth wave that may be deadly for all the people that are unvaccinated,” he stressed, adding the country had enough shots to cover all the adults.
“There is no reason to stay away as vaccination days have been extended to ensure that all of us have access.”
Once herd immunity is achieved, the deputy president said it was possible to fully open the economy and ensure that people’s livelihoods are secured.