As South Africa opened up its COVID-19 vaccine program to all individuals aged between 18 to 34, young people in Limpopo said they would be willing to get the jab as they are hopeful that it be adequate to protect them from contracting the virus.
Since Friday, all South Africans who are 18 and older are allowed to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) and get in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Health-e News spoke to several young people in the province who gave their views on getting the shot.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has approved four vaccines for emergency use: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and CoronaVac. Currently, only Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are being rolled out to the South African public.
Speaking to Health-e News, 28-years old Ntsieni Sirwali, from Mabila village, outside Thohoyandou, said he is willing to take the vaccine, despite having never tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have never tested positive for COVID-19, but I know people who have actually died from this virus and how danger coronavirus can be, so I believe that getting this vaccine will offer me much-needed protection from this dangerous virus,” said Sirwali.
Some still sceptical
“I know that some people of my age group are still sceptical of being inoculated as there are several myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, but the reality is that people across the globe are dying from this virus and if we are not vaccinated, who knows who is going to die next from this disease.”
According to the National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, vaccinations prevent disease and save lives, and is a safe and effective way to protect oneself and those around you.
Sirwali added: “I am prepared to lead the way and be vaccinated to show my fellow brothers and sisters that vaccines are there to help us return to our normal lives again. It has been a challenge to live amidst this pandemic and the only way to end this agony is by getting a Covid-19 vaccine.”
For Mashudu Mulaudzi (23), from Elim-Shirly village, outside Louis Trichardt, getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be a dream come true.
“I even fear going to the shops and contracting COVID-19, so as soon as they start administrating the vaccine to us, I will definitely be among the first ones,” said Mulaudzi.
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“I have a one-year-old son and I wants to see him grow up, and I believe that by getting the vaccine, I will be protected from developing a serious illness should I one day contract this virus. The vaccine will allow us to return to our normal lives again.”
Understanding the science
After previously testing positive for COVI-19 on two occasions, Khodani Mpilo (31), from Thohoyandou, said she does not want to re-live the ordeal she went through and will be receiving the jab to ensure she is protected from the virus..
“I am going to take the jab, as I am someone who understand how vaccines work and I want to improve my chances of living as we are in the middle of a pandemic and we do not know when it is going to end. I have already tested positive for COVID-19 twice, but I only became seriously ill once, though I was never hospitalised,” said Mpilo.
She added that young people need to do research into how vaccines work and why it is very important for them to be vaccinated.
“Many of us have been given various vaccines from since we were babies and they have proved effective, so why doubt the science now? Let’s be smart and make the right choices and go for the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Mpilo.
The Limpopo Department of Health has encouraged all persons who are 18 and older to register on the EVDS and before visiting their nearest vaccination site to receive their COVID-19 jab.
“We are calling upon everyone who is 18-years-old and above to visit any of our primary sites, secondary sites, including both Universities of Limpopo and Venda, and any of our private sites where they will be vaccinated. And anyone who is between 18 and 34-years-old, who brings along a person who is 60-years-old or above, will not stand in the queue,” said health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba in a media statement. – Health-e News