South Africa tackles vaccine hesitancy

Despite COVID-19 vaccine being available to all South African adults, uptake remains low with just 20% of adults having received a first dose. 

The Muslim Association of South Africa is one of many groups combatting vaccine hesitancy by delivering shots to doorsteps. Dawn Crotz received her Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from a paramedic in the comfort of her south Johannesburg home.While the vaccine has been available to the 64-year-old since April, Crotz said rumors about the side effects made her hesitate. But the reality of the deadly virus changed her mind.

“I decided to get it because I saw my daughter-in-law’s father got so sick he passed away,” Crotz said. “And then I thought I might also get it. I take a flu vaccine every year. I go in and I buy it and they give it to me. And then I thought, ‘No, let me do this also.’”

With South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll surpassing 79,000, volunteer health workers are scrambling to quell people’s vaccine fears.

The country’s Muslim association launched an at-home vaccination program to provide individual attention to allay concerns and to remove the barriers of traveling to a clinic.Muhammad Varachia is one of the paramedics delivering at-home vaccine.“I think it’s just a misconception, people reading on social media, people hearing from different people that is bad for you, that it’s man-made,” Varachia said. (VOA)

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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