The Vaccination Social Mobilisation Campaign has been launched.
The deputy president, David Mabuza, in an address at the launch, declared that the call to action to every South African is to vaccinate to reduce the rates of infections, hospitalisation and deaths.
“If we are to revive our vibrant creative industries, return to theatres and stadiums to play and enjoy sport and entertainment, it is important that our vaccination programme is accelerated to reach as many people as possible”, he said.
According to the deputy president, the Campaign seeks to “reach out to educate communities about the benefits of vaccines, and dispel myths and the spread of fake and untrue conspiracy theories about vaccines”.
Government aims to vaccinate 40 million South Africans by 30 December 2021 in order to reach population immunity.
The deputy president called on South Africans to join the Campaign “so that we are able to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population, since vaccines are the only sustainable way to begin to take some small steps towards fully opening the economy and filling the stadiums, sporting arenas and theatres”.
Currently, more than 13 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered to more than 10 million South Africans with 6 million fully vaccinated.
“Taking the vaccines is a moral and ethical responsibility of individuals to protect themselves and to protect their fellow citizens in the workplace, at school, at home and in recreational areas”, he said.
Meanwhile, replying to questions in the national assembly at the end of last week, president Ramaphosa declared that “when combined with other preventative measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing, the COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective instrument that we have to prevent deaths, reduce infections and restore the economic and social life of our country”.
The president added that evidence shows that Covid-19 vaccines reduce the chances of severe disease, hospitalisation and death.
He emphasized that no one should be forced to be vaccinated.
“Instead, we need to use the available scientific evidence to encourage – repeat, encourage – people to be vaccinated to protect themselves and the people around them”, he said.
The president pointed out that if a large enough proportion of the population is vaccinated by December, “we can avoid another devastating wave of infections and restrictions on the economy”.
“Those who refuse to be vaccinated are increasing the risks for all of us, not only of a further resurgence of infections, but of prolonged economic hardship and lack of recovery”, he said.