Covid-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine: Youngsters torn as conspiracies abound

Youngsters in the Free State are both keen and hesitant to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

While many young people in the Free State are keen to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some are adamant that the jab is harmful and part of a state-sponsored conspiracy to alter people’s DNA. Health-e News spoke to a few youngsters after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last Sunday evening that the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout will open for 18 to 34 year olds from 1 September.

Youth across the province can’t wait to register for the jab when their turn comes, with many having resolved to get the jab to avoid being part of the so-called “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

“We’ve heard so many conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and these also extended to the vaccine. My friends and I agree that our health needs must to be prioritised and to do that we should vaccinate. I cannot wait for my opportunity to register,” said Debby Raselemane of Thaba Nchu, east of Bloemfontein, who is a student at the Central University of Technology (CUT).

According to her, the failure of young people to be vaccinated will results in many people dying. She added that young people should take the opportunity to get the shot.

“If I don’t get vaccinated due to false theories peddled by people who are not medical experts, I won’t be able to live to tell the story to the next generation. Many people I know have died of COVID-19 and I do not want to follow them,” she said.

Another youngster, Lindiwe Mokwena, called on youth not to resist getting vaccinated, pointing out that people across the globe are getting the vaccinated. “COVID-19 is all over the world and we saw superpowers getting their citizens vaccinated. The Russian government reported that it will also be vaccinating its youngsters,” she said.

Changing DNA

One member of the anti-vaccine camp is Motlogela Jacobs, who believes the vaccine is designed to change people’s DNA.

“There are many videos on the internet that explain the harm done by the vaccine. I rather die unvaccinated than to be killed by the state,” he said.

Jacobs accused the mainstream media of receiving a lot of money from those who created the coronavirus.

“There is proof that those who want to control the world have given a lot of money to the media companies not to report the truth about COVID-19 and the vaccine,” he said.

However, Department of Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi called on young people not to listen to unvalidated conspiracy theories.

“Our people should refrain to listening to wrong information that seeks to confuse or scare them about vaccines. We know that all the SAPRAH (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority) -approved vaccines are safe to use. We should not allow people to inflict lies upon us.” Mvambi stated.

Please vaccinate

He called on citizens to vaccinate and said the department is awaiting dates for young people to start registering for the vaccine.

With the recent relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, Mvambi reminded the youth that the country is still under lockdown and called on people to continue adhering to measures to curb the spread of the virus.

“We have seen a rise in infections due to gatherings that contravene the law and we do not want to reach a point where the Free State is seeing a higher infection rate again,” he said.

18-34-year-olds next in line

In his latest ‘family meeting’, Ramaphosa urged the age groups currently eligible – anyone over the age of 35 – to present themselves at vaccination sites, register and get vaccinated.

The president added that the country administrated 100 000 vaccines every weekday a month ago but now the country currently administers 240 000 vaccines. To increase the vaccination drive, the Department of Health will be increasing vaccination sites, boost vaccination capacity over the weekend and improve registration system.

“We are now administering more than 240,000 vaccines every weekday. A month ago, this figure stood at around 100,000 vaccines per weekday. In the coming weeks, we will substantially increase the rate of vaccination. We are increasing the number of vaccination sites and improving the vaccination registration system. We will also increase our vaccination capacity on weekends,” Ramaphosa said. – Health-e News 

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Molefi Sompane

About the author

Nompilo Gwala