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Fears over sexual dysfunction stop men vaccinating

#vacciNATION4MEN aims to get more men to get a COVID-19 vaccine
New campaign aims to get more men vaccinated (Photo by Alex Mecl on Unsplash)
Written by Kalay Nair

A new campaign #vacciNATION4MEN which aims to put men at the centre of efforts to get more South Africans vaccinated against COVID-19 has been launched by the Community Constituency Front (CCF) for COVID-19

South African men currently make up less than 40% of 12,7 million South Africans who have been fully vaccinated. This is according to a report by the Health Department released in  August.

This prompted several civil society organisations to find a way to overcome the hesitancy held by men.

 Supported by Solidarity Fund, these organisations have spent the last two months gaining insight from men about their hesitancy. 

 Evidence from listening sessions held in several provinces including Gauteng, North West, and Limpopo indicate that men are reluctant to get the vaccine due to concerns about diminished sexual function, infertility, and fears about how safe it is.

CCF co-convener Mabalane Mfundisi said the disinformation that is being spread continues to be louder than any credible information being shared about COVID-19 vaccines.

“We must address issues facing men which include fear of erectile dysfunction, infertility and beliefs that traditional medicines are more trusted than vaccines, its side effects and the ingredients of the vaccine,” said Mfundisi.

He said the #vacciNATION4MEN will work with other organisations such as taxi associations, the SA Football Union, the National Union of Mineworkers and the SA Youth Council, and traditional and religious groups, to persuade more men to get vaccinated. 

The Solidarity Fund and the department of health are providing information and training to community volunteers to address frequently asked questions around Covid_19 Vaccines. These volunteers are mostly from NGOs and men who have been vaccinated.

“The campaign aims to connect with the hearts and minds of one man at a time, to convert vaccine resistance to intent to vaccinate,” Mfundisi said.

Prof. Mbulelo Dyasi of the RIIME Men’s Forum said that religious bodies are aware of misinformation about vaccines that are being spread within faith groups.

“I am vaccinated and I don’t have erection issues. You can call my wife. I am vaccinated and I don’t have issues with sexuality,” said Dyasi. 

The campaign will be translated into all 11 official languages to ensure men have the information they need to help them decide about getting the jab. The government aims to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by December. Health-e News

About the author

Kalay Nair

Kalay has worked in several news mediums including wire journalism and broadcast news. She was a parliamentary reporter at the SA Press Association before a stint at the Gulf News in Dubai. She joined the prime-time news team at eTV when she returned to South Africa. She was also part of the eNCA launch team, where she managed a national television newsroom, oversaw a team of reporters and planned major news events. She has a diploma in journalism from DUT, a certificate in financial journalism from Rhodes University; was a CNN fellow, and completed the WAN IFRA Media Management Online Training programme in 2020.

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