- The Commission for Gender Equality retracted its statement which suggested Covid-19 vaccines have possible negative effects on women.
- According to the commission, the statement was a regrettable error.
- It encouraged South Africans to get vaccinated.
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has withdrawn its statement that Covid-19 vaccines have an impact on women's reproductive health.
In a statement on Thursday night, the commission said it "erroneously quoted an article published in a medical journal which alleges possible negative consequences of vaccination on women's sexual and reproductive health".
Earlier this week, the health department and other vaccinology experts called on the CGE to withdraw its statement.
On 16 January, the commission released a statement, which quoted a medical journal that alleged possible consequences of vaccination on women's reproductive health.
The Department of Health disputed claims made by the CGE, saying it didn't consider all available evidence and the substantial benefit associated with vaccinating women of reproductive age and pregnant women.
"We further regret that it led to unnecessary distraction of public attention away from our common fight against the Covid-19 pandemic," CGE spokesperson Javu Baloyi said in a statement.
The commission said its objective was to foster democracy through ensuring the protection of vulnerable and marginalised communities.
Baloyi said this would ensure the information shared by the commission was reflected accurately.
To rectify the recent misinformation, the CGE said it would coordinate various education drives, in collaboration with health and medical experts.
"The CGE wishes to reiterate its support for existing government policy and guidelines on vaccination, and to express our confidence in current medical expertise and knowledge as provided by the country's medical scientific community."
The commission encouraged South Africans to exercise their right to access information and to take necessary steps to increase their understanding, through available medical information and expertise, of the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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