Sep 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Did Malema’s comments about the Covid-19 vaccine lead to more people getting the jab?

Hundreds of EFF supporters demonstrated outside the offices of the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) in June last year in a “march to save lives” that a study says may be causing a rise in Covid-19 vaccinations.

The party marched to demand approval of the Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines, with Malema delivering an impassioned speech at the event.

“We want more vaccines to be available. They tell us this event is a superspreader, but that’s not true because we’re meeting here outdoors for a few minutes. From there we go home and comply with Covid-19 regulations

“We will not be maintaining lockdowns. Our agenda is simple: give our people vaccines. We want to open up the economy, we want our artists to perform. Lockdown is not a solution. We will not be maintaining a lockdown anymore,” he said at the event.

While South African health officials have often spoken of vaccine hesitancy and have challenged getting citizens to sign up for deciding on the vaccine, Edison Johannes Mavundza, Duduzile Ndwandwe and Charles Shey Wiysonge of the SA Medical Research Council believe Malema’s celebrity status may have helped improve uptake.

Sure, and there are effective Covid-19 vaccines, but their success against the disease depends on the public’s willingness to receive them. Vaccination hesitancy is a major barrier to achieving herd immunity,” they noted.

“We believe this march will increase the acceptance and uptake of Covid-19 vaccines among the EFF followers might have increased . The endorsement of Covid-19 vaccines by Malema, an influential political figure in South Africa, has likely convinced some vaccine-hesitant South Africans that Covid-19 vaccination is important.”

It suggestedAdvocacy of the vaccine by more influential South Africans “as one of the strategies to increase uptake of Covid-19 vaccines”.

“The Using celebrities to increase vaccine uptake is not a new phenomenon, but we believe it is underutilized.

“Other strategies known to increase vaccine uptake , include health education programs, reminders, prompts and financial incentives, training of health care providers, audit and feedback, and outreach interventions.”

A few months later, Malema urged the youth to get vaccinated to get.

“We are just saying that we need vaccines from China, Russia and Cuba. All vaccines proven to be effective must come to SA. Don’t ask us if we took the vaccine or not because the next question will be ‘Which one?’” Malema said.

“We want people to take the vaccine. The youth must take the vaccine. It is up to everyone whether they want to disclose whether they have been vaccinated or not. It’s not for the EFF to announce that,” he said at a media conference in August.

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