We should have locked down education before we locked up SA

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We should have locked down education before we locked up SA

Until there is a coordinated campaign to educate the public about vaccines, hesitancy will remain

Columnist

There is even a fancy term for it: vaccine hesitancy. Simply put, it means a reluctance to be vaccinated even when vaccines are available to you. How serious is this problem in SA? In an Ipsos poll in September, only 64% of citizens indicated they would take the vaccine when it is available. However, in the more recent Edelman Trust Barometer 2021, a mere 49% said they would be willing to vaccinate, of which 27% said they would only take the vaccine after six months to a year; that is second lowest after Russia in a survey of 28 countries, with the other two Brics nations the top performers when it comes to willingness to take the life-saving jab — Brazil at 76% and India at 80%.

This type of data spells danger, for if so large a number of South Africans are hesitant to take the vaccine our chances of quickly reaching herd immunity will needlessly extend our nightmare of illness and death well beyond 2022. Red lights, people.

We should settle for the fact that there is a percentage of people in any population that will not take any vaccine, even if their own lives are at stake. This includes religious nuts who believe the jab will “infuse 666” into your blood, thereby giving you the mark of the beast, quite apart from all other kinds of conspiracy theorists. Not much can be done to reattach these fertile minds to reality, especially if your authoritative voice is Michael the archangel and not Mkhize the minister...

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