With a possible fifth wave of Covid-19 already here, Mzansi seems to be dragging its heels when it comes to booster vaccines. According to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Mzansi recorded 10 000 new daily covid-19 infections of Wednesday. Yet, some remain resolute in their decisions not to receive another round of protection.
These spiking numbers have not convinced Cape Town artist and praise poet, Okuhle Ntloyiya (22), to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. He believes that a medicine created in the West and imported to Mzansi, is not the best line of defence against the virus.
“We are fed poisoned food, which weakens our immune systems and produces hormonal imbalances,” he says.
“I will not be forced to take immunisations or boosters for which I have no knowledge of where they were made. I believe that our bodies are supposed to fight illnesses on their own. So, if they reject it, we have our African medicine, which I believe assists in the treatment and prevention of illness.”
Still not convinced
“It has been anticipated that we would have resurgences and I think it’s mainly driven in part by the result of either new variants or in this particular resurgence, it is really the sub-lineages of the variant of concern, the Omicron variant.”
He said that these sub-variants haven’t shown indications of increased deaths or hospitalisations, but health authorities are monitoring data closely.
Ntloyiya is still unconvinced and adds that there are no indications that even President Cyril Ramaphosa had been vaccinated.
“We must not allow our government to control us through fear; even those who have been vaccinated may have done so, just to avoid losing their employment.”
Vaxxed and proud, but no booster
“I don’t see a necessity for it since you may still catch a virus even if you boost,” she says. She has ignored government SMS’s for the booster shot. “If it had been beneficial, it should have been mandatory, not voluntary. It follows that humans can survive without a booster jab.”
Oluchi Odumuko (21), a college student, from Ekuphumleni in Khayelitsha, says at the beginning of the pandemic, while Covid-19 was new in Mzansi, she opened a community soup kitchen. As a person who works with people on a regular basis, she decided to get vaccinated.
“I took the vaccine because it seems as if vaccinating is also playing a role as a ticket to get into some other places, especially workwise. The first thing employers ask these days is if you have been vaccinated, so to secure a spot at work, you need to be vaccinated, not knowing the risks of the vaccine you’re taking.”
Odumuko has not yet taken a booster. However, she says that given the option of getting a job or doing something that may add value to her, she would take it. But as for now, she sees no need to.
“I’m glad I was vaccinated since I don’t know how healthy my body is, so I can only hope for the best.”
Vaccines still your best shot
According to infectious disease specialist, Dr Jantjie Taljaard, vaccines are still our best shot against the virus.
Nolusindiso Lisa Macanda (40), a media personality from East London in the Eastern Cape, agrees and says that receiving the vaccination was the best decision she ever made for herself, her family, and those around her.
“I would urge others to do the same; I feel that by worrying only about our wellbeing and avoiding the worst from happening, are we able to live happily ever after.”
Macanda says she too took a booster, and for her, this means that she is even safer than before. “I feel that life is precious, and that we can only make it meaningful by following the rules.”