Western Cape calls on public to not share misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines
By Nomalanga Tshuma 24m ago
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Cape Town – The Western Cape Department of Health is appealing to the public to be responsible when sharing messaging and information regarding the vaccine and the government’s vaccination process.
With anxiety about the much-anticipated vaccine rising, the Western Cape Department of Health has resorted to sharing positive vaccine personal stories in hopes of calming the public.
Western Cape Department of Health spokesperson Shimoney Regter said: “Vaccines have been developed to save lives by reducing the chances of illness. The development of vaccines dates back hundreds of years with immunisations against infectious diseases.
“Misinformation or fake news can lead to vaccine hesitancy, which has the ability to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases,” added Regter.
Fourth-year medical student Glen Thatcher said: “You can’t calculate how many lives have been saved by vaccines or how many deaths were prevented and how much money has been saved. It’s important to ask questions. But when we spread lies, we’ll move backwards, and we will prolong the time we will be under lockdown.”
“We need to remember that the Covid-19 vaccines have been tested. Even when they failed, they had to go back to the drawing board to try again. The vaccine won’t eradicate Covid-19 overnight. The crux of it is that a vaccine can save your life. It won’t guarantee that you won’t get the virus, but a vaccine can ensure that if you do get it, it will be mild,” said Thatcher.
According to the World Health Organisation, vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease. It currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.
Third-year nursing student Nokubona Ngeyi said: “Let us not spread information that is not true. We are scaring people with false information and some people are now afraid of taking the vaccine because of what they have heard about it.
“Some are afraid because they don’t know enough yet and we need to talk about this. Our opinions matter and they can either make people afraid or they can help them. From my side, I will be taking the vaccine.”