Discovery to require all employees to be vaccinated from January

CEO: process will consider employees’ health, religious and other legal rights and seek to balance these with the rights of all employees.
Image: Moneyweb

Discovery says it “intends to move to a mandatory vaccination policy” for its employees, effective January 1, 2022. It says its offices and sites will become “vaccination-only zones”.

The country’s largest health insurer says this decision is because of the “clear moral and social obligation, as informed by our core purpose to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives; and by our values, particularly, acting as a force for social good; and supported by a legal obligation to protect and safeguard all employees from all potential risks”.

It further justifies this move by saying that Covid-19 is an “unprecedented health tragedy; with the fourth wave posing further risk”. There have been 220 000 excess deaths in South Africa since May 2020, with over 14 000 client deaths and 20 employee deaths.

It says in excess of 30 000 lives can be saved if more than 60% of the population is vaccinated over the coming months.

It highlights that the “issue is no longer one of limited access to vaccines, but one of hesitancy”.

Discovery Group CEO Adrian Gore says “the mandatory vaccination policy recognises employees’ right to object to the vaccination and has built in a process to manage this including, where necessary and possible, exemptions and reasonable accommodation of employees taking into account the operational and business requirements of Discovery.

“This process will consider the employees’ health, religious and other legal rights and seek to balance these with the rights of all employees across the group.”

Compared with those who are unvaccinated, those who are have a 50% to 80% lower chance of infection, a 70% to 85% lower risk of hospitalisation and a 90% to 95% lower chance of death. It says fewer than one in 20 of its members “showed any signs of side effects”.

The group has helped vaccinate over 890 000 members of Discovery Health administered schemes and 300 000 individuals outside of this. Across its nine Discovery vaccination sites, it has deployed 1000 staff at a cost of R42 million. It expects this programme to cost R200 million in total.

It says 51.2% of total lives in the Discovery Health business are at least partially vaccinated, with this number increasing to 76.2% for those members over 60.

Nearly two-thirds (64.4%) of those members over 60 are fully vaccinated. In the life business (both individual and group), over 62% of members over 60 are fully vaccinated. A similar number (61.8%) are at least partially vaccinated across the entire individual life book, while in the group life book this number is 51.1%.

It says 65% of its clients across its base aged 50 to 59 are partially or fully vaccinated (54% for those aged 35 to 49).

Discovery is aiming to have over 80% of its members over 60 vaccinated by the end of this month, and 80% of its whole book by the end of the year.

It is aiming for a 100% take-up of the (Pfizer) second dose. It has sent over 19 million emails and SMSs and made over 101 000 outbound calls to members.

Of concern is the “slow take up in younger cohorts”, with the 35- to 49-year-old group lagging the uptake seen in the 50-59 and 60+ cohorts.

Source: Discovery annual results presentation

Discovery says the pandemic has been five times worse in South Africa than in the UK. It says “given SA’s younger age profile, expect deaths to be 64% lower, but when adjusting for population size (12% smaller) the data indicates the epidemic currently 5.5x worse than UK”.

It has provided and will continue to provide incentives in its products for members to vaccinate. It says “Discovery Life recently launched market-first product features recognising the material risk reduction through vaccinations, assisting and rewarding policyholders to get vaccinated”.

Vaccinated Discovery Life members will receive “preferred premiums”.

Discovery says “given the expected mortality claims from the run-off of the third Covid-19 wave beyond the reporting year and expected claims from an anticipated fourth wave, an additional provision for the retail business” was raised. The provision was increased in Discovery Life from R2.16 billion as at June 2020 to R2.693 billion at June 2021. Provisions at Vitality Life in the UK were “more than sufficient due to the UK’s effective and early vaccine campaign”. It has released much of this provision (£5.4 million from £28.8 million).

Discovery Life saw a R2.5 billion earnings impact during the year to end-June, because of Covid-19.

Year to 30 June 2021 Operating profit Change vs FY2020
Discovery Health R3.423 billion 7%
Discovery Life R1.341 billion -55%
Discovery Invest R1.084 billion 31%
Discovery Insure R250 million 2%
Discovery Bank (R1.094 billion) -7%
Vitality Health (UK) R953 million 15%
Vitality Life (UK) R644 million 337%
Vitality Group R417 million 35%
Ping An Health R411 million 126%
Other new businesses (R978 million) -7%

Normalised operating profit was up 7% in the year to R6.5 billion, but normalised headline earnings fell 9% to R3.4 billion. New business across the group grew 11% to R22.6 billion. Excluding the take on of new closed schemes and gross revenue at Vitality, new business was up 9%. It did not declare a dividend for the year.

It says that “due to the combined effect of the future growth prospects of Ping An Health Insurance (PAH) and its expanding product mix, with the evolving prudential regulatory requirements in China, PAH requires additional capital of RMB2.6 billion (approximately R6 billion). Discovery’s contribution, amounting to approximately R1.5 billion, will be required in the near future”.

It says it “has previously responded to fund such growth opportunities through equity rather than debt. If it were to raise equity capital, Discovery would expect to follow a similar strategy as it did in the case of the final buy-out of the FNB credit card book in 2018, for which it raised a specific quantum, ring-fenced for those purposes, to ensure that the discipline of capital allocation within the capital plan remains intact”.

It maintains the “prospects for private healthcare and private health insurance in China provide an excellent long-term opportunity, supported by recent government policies emphasising the development of healthcare and private health insurance”.


Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.


One has a vaccine to protect ones self. Why then is it such an issue if someone else doesnt want to be vaccinated? As you vaccinated thus protected to a certain degree why then does it matter or how does it affect you if someone else isnt?, is that not their own problem? Maybe im missing something.

Unfortunately, you are missing something. I’m not going to paraphrase the literally millions of pages of information available that explains the rationale. If you genuinely want to know better, just Google ‘Why should I be vaccinated”.

Ironic because it seems you are the one missing the point.
Forced medical experimental treatment goes against human rights.
You’re on the wrong side of history.

You can google basically anything and find info on it…

you are the one missing the point, living your life according to google. The body is naturally made to fight viruses. These vaccinations are in fact the ones causing mutations of simple viruses. It started with a simple sniffing then flu then TBs then cancers then HIVs then now covid, after we inject bodies trust me, we are literally creating a future virus dangerous then the previous ones

When you start talking about google, i knew, along with other, you are a chop

Antivax/horse dewormers in coming!! Flat earth, religion, antivax…’s all just anti science

For Discovery, its about risk, whether you have health or life insurance, it’s just much more risky statistically when you’re unvaccinated.
So naturally Discovery wants all its members (and staff) to be vaccinated.

So then don’t insure the unvaccinated then? did not realize we live in Stalinist Russia. Did not expect less from a company that want to control everything, from what you eat to how you drive.

Is that so?
Please would you be so kind as to provide the source and data for this statement because you are clearly choosing to ignore data coming out of New Zealand, Israel or Gibraltar, just to name three, which are showing the opposite of what you are claiming.

No you are not missing something. Vaccinated people also spread the Virus, so stricly speaking can this be called a “vaccine” (With Tim Noakes” on this one.

This subject has moved much further on and left the media cohorts behind months ago. You all need to catch up. To break free search “acsh who’s afraid of Dan”

Imagine being this ignorant.

Imagine being this arrogant.

This simply proves we are all slaves…if we had real freedom of choice, I would be able to choose what goes into my body… I do not like what the world has becomce in the last 18 months.So sad…

Have you seen people interviewed in their hospital beds?

This is a Killer pandemic, it kills very easy.
The vaccines work over 90%

We live in the 21st century, technology and science have evolved in leap and bounds.

Do you trust your cell phone to work? it required science to work

Do you still trust the media after everything they’ve lied about to you?
I guess you don’t see the Matrix pulled over your eyes then.

‘The vaccines work over 90%’ (you do not mention that this refers to efficacy in preventing hospitalisation – please be specific) Yes, so does a safety belt in a car. But if I don’t wear my safety belt it does not imperil your safety. Therefore I cannot assist you by buckling up or taking a vaccine. The vaccinated with Covid has the same high Delta strain viral loads than the un-vaccinated… Statistically however, it will/may assist Discovery with lower claim rates.

You have absolute choice – you can choose to not be vaccinated. There is a consequence to your choice, however, which means that you can’t work at Discovery, because they’re exercising their choice. What you’re actually saying is that you’re upset because you want to have complete freedom of choice with zero consequences to yourself.

We don’t have absolute choice if we did the world wouldn’t look like it does. We the people won’t even be left to our own devices to make the choices we feel are best for our own health, safety and wellbeing.

Government, big tech and big pharma are all chiming in telling us what we must think, say and how we should behave, while they claim it’s for our own safety.

They’re coming for your children and it will be too late.

Wow the horse dewormer, antivax, flat earth, anti science gang is here. I really thought it was just a redneck hillbilly issue, but dam theres is a lot of you here

Throw labels all you want. If you don’t see this as a freedom issue you’re already inside the prison cell without windows.

What do you think comes next? What will companies and government mandate next? Freedom of choice is what matters. If you want forced compliance why don’t you go live in China or North Korea?

You should try and tell an actual slave that you feel you are a slave because a high paying corporate that you don’t even work at requires you to get a free vaccine. Or you can resign.

Wow. Victimhood mentality.

The arrogance of the misguided bullying elite. I once worked for an outfit with a Board that decided all shall be interrogated using a lie detector, but of course they excluded themselves. I agreed on condition that these interrogations be conducted in open air with public access and that each board member go first. End of that elitist little story. It was common knowledge who the criminals were.

It was strange how a crazed 16 year old Swedish girl with neglectful yachtie parents and a bunch of black-bag-wearing goons called themselves anti-f-i were the heralds of global fascism.

The Nuremburg trials established the principle of informed consent when it comes to medical experimentation.

It appears we are entering a dark period where the lessons of the terrible tragedies of the two world wars have been forgotten.

God save us all.

“The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history” – Ashwin Sanghi

Imagine getting triggered by a little girl. Do you feel bad that your generation did nothing? Imagine that her parents using a sail boat is your most rational argument.

You seem to be “imagining” all over this forum…

Times like this that I wish I was a lawyer. What if people already had Covid. They just as immune as with the Jab, and they did not put there lives at risk to get it.

This virus has only been arounf for abot 20 months, and the so called “vaccines” for about a year. There is no way that discovery knows for a fact what the lo0ng term effects of this experimental medicine is going to be. On top of that the producers have contracts with all their purchasers that they as producer will not carry any risk if something goes wrong as a result of people using this vaccine

The Bill of Rights has the following paragraph in section 12 (2) Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the
(a) ..
(b) to security in and control over their body; and
(c) not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.

Now Discovery wants the employees to sign away their rights?

Bill of Rights also has section 36, which limits all the other rights, subject to certain criteria. Our case law has also established that there are no rights without matching responsibilities, no right is absolute and you cannot exercise your right by depriving other people of their rights. This issue will go to the courts, I’m sure – every other corporate will be watching this closely.

Section 36 requires that the weighing must have a specified substantive outcome, namely an outcome that is justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, and not in a closed, authoritarian society based on the violation of human dignity, equality and freedom. Is there anyone who can honestly say that she or he does not know the difference between these two kinds of society?

But yes since we are living in what is turning into a more and more authoritarian society we’ll just go with it right?

Well yes, but then you’d need to prove that other’s rights will be impacted. If they have the same probability of infection and infecting others as an un-vaccinated, the point is moot.

I am vaccinated but I say these guy’s can FO!

Too big for their shoes. Who do they think they are???

Vaccinated people do get infected. However the severity of their infection is less severe than those not vaccinated, ie putting a strain on the various countries health system and health workers is much less. While the infections rise in the countries mentioned the numbers of serious cases in hospitals is much less. Plenty reports do prove this.

Please show me the empirical evidence you have for that claim? Or is it a thumb suck.

Enforcing dietary regulations would also reduce the load on hospitals due to obesity. But we all inherently know there is a line between personal freedom and ‘the greater good’.

“Discovery says the pandemic has been five times worse in South Africa than in the UK” According to reuters covid stats platform, SA have 1400 covid deaths per million people against the UK’s 1900?

Worldometers more trustworthy and I only give them 3/10 due to lax updating.

Discovery are talking utter nonsense just like so many of the big media outlets and the likes of the WEF, not to mention the WHO and the CDC who have numerous times gone back and changed their tune again and again.
It’s all one big joke to them, how they can just do what they want while eroding all human rights and people are still fast asleep to what’s going on.

Brilliant and well done Discovery! Smokers are worldwide no longer allowed to smoke when and where they like and that is not even contagious. Why must I be exposed to the anti-vac, ridiculous conspiracy believes of certain people and being at a serious health risk to myself and all other people I have contact with. This is actually a no-brainer. I am pretty sure this is going to be an international tendens and as so many times Discovery is leading the way in SA.

Israel is experiencing roughly 20 000 new Covid cases a day and a substantial percentage of the population is vaccinated. Compared to their previous peak in January, this is twice as severe in terms of infection numbers.

Similar story in Iceland. Highest vaccination rate in the world, yet their latest peak had almost twice the number of daily infections compared to the previous.

It is abundantly clear that vaccinated people play no small part in spreading the virus.

Now, how did you conclude that the unvaccinated pose an outsized health risk to you.

“Israel is experiencing roughly 20 000 new Covid cases a day ”
Wow that’s a nice rounding up trick you did there.
The highest single daily number was yesterday of 16 629 (And even that number is anomaly!) The 7 day rolling average is only (Incl 1 Sep) is only 9308 so you are quite a way off with that 20K figure.

If we look at the 7 day rolling average of Jan we see it was somewhere around 8K per day, to which you will say: Look! Its more now!
But you need to look deeper, go and look at the number of tests being conducted, that are up by 30-40% from Jan, and perhaps crucially the peak test positivity rate has dropped from ~10% in Jan to 6.6% today.
So more people being tested, and less of them test positive.
The vaccine works, no doubt about it.

How do we know the test positivity rate would not have gone down had we tested more people pre-vaccines rollout? Test more healthy people -> TPR down. Put another way, most people don’t have Covid today, so if I test the entire population, then TPR will be lower than yesterday.

“How do we know the test positivity rate would not have gone down had we tested more people pre-vaccines rollout? Test more healthy people -> TPR down.”

Your last sentence essentially answers your question, the vast majority of testing is on people that feel sick, no one does a covid test because they are healthy (its a awful experience)
So you can be rest assured the majority of people going for tests will be those that feel some illness, of course yes, if you test everyone incl the healthy it may drop (but then again, that raises the question will it? There could be a mass population of asymptotic carriers around)

@PJJ. What percentage of tested were pos.The number of tested in this case is irrelevant. But hey, keep your head in the sand.

Beyond the physical exposure, why should vaccinated people be financially exposed to anti-vaxxers? When will Discovery place these people in separate insurance risk pools? It may have been humane in 2020 that the risk of someone’s death from Covid is shared among all, but beyond 2021 you have a choice to protect yourself. Like smokers, like skydivers, if you want to live dangerously, that should be at your own cost.

I like your idea. Evidence is beginning to show that the injected are causing faster mutations in this flu virus and are shedding this virus to people who have chosen to rely on the defence system nature gave them. You know, the natural immune system that has allowed humanity to evolve over the last couple of hundred thousand years.

Spot on. These people don’t understand science and also think the world’s flat!

Adrian Gore… only cares for his business!

You workers… yes you workers! you either tow the line … or you out (and you will be out eventually.. you a risk)

So you are saying that having his workers vaccinated will protect his business? Presumably because they don’t die? Sounds like a win win to me!

What’s happened to the “work from home” ideology??

So if you work from home? They want to force you to be vaccinated?? You want to tell me this lot does not work from home???

Tsk!!! Just AG BS!

Also, why can’t unvaxxed then not just wear a panty over their face? Thought masks work?

Did you even read?


The article provides a link to the Public Health England document titled
SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England
being Technical briefing 20 of 6 August 2021.
The information that it provides will fully support the rights of persons to refuse to be injected with any of the products currently in use.
In essence this document is a game changer with global implications.

How many people had side effects from vaccines now???????

You mean besides the 13’627 deaths reported on VAERS alone?

And that is only around 1-4% of cases even get reported to VAERS.

The world has become a distopian police state. I will be siding with the resistance. Who’s with me?

You again? Why do you keep wiping my posts? The other shift is not so touchy feely. Opinions are printed as articles here and opinions on those opinions are enabled via Comments. So if the comment opinion is not to your liking you swipe it away. How Orwellian.

Are you going to write some comments on news articles? Such resistance!

Pot calling the kettle black here? Sounds more like Bloemfontein big time judging by the brown stuff your writing all over this forum. Calling yourself a big time exec from Bloem is hilarious, have you seen Bloem?

99% of current deaths in America have not been vaccinated. Go figure.

And I’m sure that we should just ignore that anyone who dies within the 14 day window from receiving a vaccine is counted as unvaccinated and as having died “after a short illness”?

You know, like Andy Michael (Googlebox), Simon Fraser (Fidelity CIO), Dom Busby (BBC radio presenter), Clare Lipscombe (PGA golfer) and many more.

You know it takes time for the body to react to the vaccine right? It isn’t magic. Try inform yourself – to the level of a primary school kid.

Exponentially more from covid

Stop trying to fight this with logic and facts

Tell me. Where did all the flu, pneumonia and TB deaths suddenly go? Did the virus kill those causes of death or common sense?
If it is such a pandemic why did the world, including South Africa, experience a positive population growth year in 2020?

Did you miss the CDC saying that at least 94% of all Covid-19 deaths were not because of the virus, but rather comorbidities? But facts, right?

I guess diabetes and cancer isn’t killing anyone anymore, it’s ONLY a virus.

My barber from Algeria says if everyone around me is vaccinated,who will make me sick. Or, here’s a nice one: if the vaccine is so fantastic, why are you so scared of me when Im not vaccinated ? You bunch of

Imagine taking medical advise from a barber. Such an obvious logical fallacy in there. Public schooling?

If Discovery ( or any other company ) would ask their employees to have their company logo prominently ta toot on their forehead – to retain their jobs would this be ok ? Where will it end ? F. Y. Discovery !

The president just said NO ONE CAN BE FORCED TO VAX – ITs a NO-NO…Discovery Health have money – The government always needs money…Get the popcorn..

We have a dislike button now (not sure since when)

There seems to be at least two ways guaranteed to gather dislikes:

Point out the nonscience behind the covid and vaccine conspiracy theorists or that they tend to be Trump supporters.

Make fun of the Zupta / RET gang in ANC being worthy of a Monty Python series yet at same time posing the greatest risk to the country.

Yes, this place is sooo militantly pro-ANC right.

Grow up. The victimhood thing is boring.

I am all for it. Will help get rid of the old guard who speak a certain kitchen language. Quicker transformation.

Johan is actually in favour of vaccination, yet you direct your negative ranting against him as well, but on a completely different topic. The value of your opinion fades significantly when one realizes that it is informed by a burning hatred of the Afrikaner instead of the desire to do the right thing.

You are referring to an old guard that has already been dislodged. You are the current old guard moron and yourselves in the process of being gotten rid of. Ask your money back.

All I need do is tell the undeniable truth about the hooha. If it makes it past Big Brother it is simply fodder for the highly vested peanut gallery.


End of comments.



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Moneyweb newsletters

Instrument Details  

You do not have any portfolios, please create one here.
You do not have an alert portfolio, please create one here.

Follow us: