During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Tuesday evening, he revealed that only 35% of South Africa’s youth have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The low uptake of vaccinations among the 18-35 year-old cohort has been a concern for the government. Ramaphosa explained that it is important that people in this age cohort get vaccinated.
The #KeReady campaign was launched last month to encourage vaccination among those in the age group.
Stellenbosch University epidemiologist, Dr Jo Barnes says that vaccination encouragement campaigns may have been less effective as they believed that all members of the age cohort are the same.
Barnes adds that the vaccination rollout plan could have had an impact on the uptake of vacations among young people.
South Africa’s vaccination rollout plan included vaccinating the oldest members of the country's population first and working their way down from the older age groups to the younger age groups.
Around 68% of individuals, aged 60 years and older, have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Barnes explained, “First of all, 70 and above and then 60 and above were targeted and we've actually done very well with them and that somehow left a large number of these young people thinking, I'm young, I'm strong, I can fight this thing, I don't need to get vaccinated and I'll wait and see. Once you've waited and waited and waited it becomes a little bit difficult to break that cycle of hesitancy”.
She believes that different campaigns should be created for different portions of the population. This, as many people who chose to get vaccinated against the virus came because they were encountered by people they trust.