President Cyril Ramaphosa has praised South African youth and their eagerness to get the Covid-19 vaccine. He described the turnout made by the 18-35 year-olds to get their Covid-19 jabs as impressive in his weekly newsletter, From the Desk of the President.
The president said he was “filled with great pride” as he saw the turnout of the youth. He revealed that more than half a million members of the 18-35 year-old cohort signed up for the vaccine on the first day of registration. Friday, 20 August was the first day that the group were eligible to get their jabs
“As I watched young people being interviewed while queueing at vaccination centres I was impressed by their enthusiasm and excitement. Most of all I was impressed by their knowledge about the vaccine, how it can protect, and why it is necessary” added Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa also announced that the country reached a milestone of 10 Million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine being administered. He added that almost 5 million people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This means that they have either received one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I hear such powerful words from young people often. Despite the hardship caused by the pandemic, they are still optimistic, and they still want to be of service to our country. By getting vaccinated they aren’t just protecting themselves, but also those around them”.
Ramaphosa also praised the youth referring to them as ‘digital-natives’. He said that the youth have an important role in sharing accurate information about the vaccines provided by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization(WHO).
The president's sentiments come just days after an anti-vaccination protest took place outside the Groote Schuur Hospital near Cape Town. A group of protesters picketed outside the state hospital and held signs showing their opposing stance towards getting vaccinated.
The Western Cape's Department of Health's director for communications, Marika Champion, has encouraged residents to get their information from trusted and reliable sources. She added that residents should approach local clinics and hospitals if they are still unsure about the vaccine.