Covid-19: Makhura concerned as fewer men seen to be taking the vaccine

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  • Many men in Gauteng are reluctant to participate in the government’s vaccination programme.
  • Premier David Makhura said numbers have revealed fewer men were taking the vaccine.
  • The province has asked women to encourage their male partners to be inoculated.

Men in Gauteng have been encouraged to put aside their fear of needles and make their way to Covid-19 vaccination sites in droves.

Premier David Makhura said fewer men in the province were taking the Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer vaccines than expected.

He added this could be due to myths that were being peddled that vaccinations could result in fatalities, or a fear of needles.

READ | SA-born biotech billionaire Soon-Shiong sees his shot as universal vaccine booster

"I really don't know why men don't want to participate in the programme.

"I don't know why we have fewer men who are taking the vaccine. We have plans to reach more men. The burden of the virus and threats of succumbing to Covid-19 are now shifting to those who are not vaccinated. 

"I want to assure men that there are many of us men who have vaccinated and are still alive. We are happy that many health workers were vaccinated. Many of them would have died in the earlier phases of the virus, but they are with us because they have vaccinated," said Makhura.

READ | SA estimates 220 000 excess deaths during pandemic - among worst in the world

So far, the province has administered more than 2.1 million vaccines.

He expressed concern about the number of people aged 60 and above who were not participating in the programme.

"We have more 60-year-olds and above who have not vaccinated. I am worried that they are the most vulnerable group. We have only reached just a half of the targeted 1.3 million people.

"It is extremely important that our elders come in large numbers and vaccinate… I am concerned about them because they would be at great risk if we were to go into another wave.

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"Vaccination will help more people. We are seeing that numbers of positive cases are declining in Gauteng," said Makhura.

He added the province was taking vaccines to different economic sectors where workers were unable to inoculate, saying the most difficult group to reach was farm workers.

"We want our farm workers to survive the pandemic too. Our vaccine programme is for all in Gauteng.

"If farm workers don't come forward, we will take vaccines to them. The main problem causing farm workers not to come as expected is transportation and vaccine sites that are far from them," said Makhura. 

The province is aiming to administer 100 000 vaccines per day, up from the 53 000 per day it is currently administering.

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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