Professor Hannelie Meyer, the chair of the National Immunisation Safety Expert Committee, says when individuals choose to vaccinate, the decision has the ripple effect of benefiting their loved ones.
“The more people are vaccinated, the more people are protected from COVID-19,” said Meyer.
The Professor on Monday took part in a campaign on Twitter to curb disinformation about vaccines.
Such disinformation, Meyer said, is deliberately created and disseminated with malicious intent.
Meyer emphasised the importance of having discussions to dispel dangerous myths about vaccines.
“The aim of the vaccines and getting vaccinated is to prevent severe infections,” Meyer said.
She stressed that even when one has been vaccinated, one can still get infected but will experience mild symptoms.
“We understand the fears and concerns of people about the safety of the vaccines, but we want to encourage them to vaccinate to reduce the effects of COVID-19,” she said.
Meyer said at times, infected people end up with symptoms which can last for months.
“You have to weigh the benefits of getting vaccinated against the risks. The aim of vaccinating is to prevent the severity caused by the disease,” she said.
With regard to booster shots, Meyer said these will ensure much higher protection.
She encouraged people to report adverse conditions experienced after taking the vaccine.
To those who are hesitant to take the vaccine, Meyer assured that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has taken the utmost care to ensure vaccine safety.
Since the rollout of the vaccination programme in South Africa, government has encouraged citizens to take up vaccination. It has also introduced the Vooma Vaccine campaign, which made vaccination easily accessible over weekends.
The President’s call to the nation to get vaccinated has led to a substantially increased uptake over the past few weeks.
The Department of Health says while younger people are not without risk, 40% of hospital admissions occur in people younger than 50 years of age.
As part of efforts to ramp-up COVID-19 vaccination ahead of the festive season, President Cyril Ramaphosa has written to leaders of government, labour, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders, business and civil society partners to support the Vooma Vaccination campaign.
The first Vooma Vaccination weekend in October led to an unprecedented level of engagement and active mobilisation across many districts in South Africa. It achieved 75% of its target of 500 000 vaccinations over the three-day period.
Source: South African Government News Agency