'I bought me a new wig & outfit' - Excitement grows as under 35s wait to be vaccinated, but some are hesitant

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A number of young people will not be participating in the upcoming vaccine registration drive.
A number of young people will not be participating in the upcoming vaccine registration drive.
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  • A number of young people News24 spoke to had mixed reactions about participating in the upcoming vaccine registration drive.
  • While some were excited and counting down the days, others were scared and had reservations.
  • People between the ages of 18 to 34 are set to be vaccinated against Covid-19 from 1 September.

Some youth are counting down the days until they can get their vaccinations, but a select few that News24 spoke to are more hesitant.

On 25 July, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that people between the ages of 18 to 34 will be vaccinated against Covid-19 from 1 September.

Authorities have repeatedly assured the public that vaccines are safe and effective to use, with South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) CEO Professor Glenda Gray saying that global immunisation would be the only way to control the pandemic.

But Samora Machel resident Anathi Mlonyeni, 26, said she was not getting the Covid-19 jab because she had safety concerns.

"I feel like we don't have all the necessary information about the vaccine, hence I will not be taking the vaccine," Mlonyeni said.

READ | Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here

She did not trust the vaccine and was afraid something bad might happen if she takes it.

She said:

I am afraid I'll die from the jab.

According to Mlonyeni, she was spooked after hearing that at least three people had died after they received their Covid-19 vaccine.

Earlier this week, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority said that after investigations, it had been unable to link any deaths reported to it to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Professor Gray said some side effects of the vaccine could include swelling, redness and pain at the injection site, as well as fever, headaches, tiredness, muscle pain, chills and nausea.

She said the benefits far outweighed the risks.

One million J&J vaccine doses could prevent more than 3 400 deaths, while one million Pfizer doses could prevent more than 3 600 deaths, Gray said.

Aviwe Nene, 27, from Khayelitsha said he will not be getting the vaccination as he felt there was no guarantee the jab worked.

"I’m fully aware of what the media and government are professing what benefits the jab has for us, but then why are there still so many people dying after they getting vaccinated?," said Nene.

As yet, there is no evidence that any of the vaccines have been linked to any deaths.

READ: Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here

Aljurine Titus, 30, from Oudtshoorn said she has not made up her mind as yet, as she is still "very sceptical".

"I'm a little uncertain and afraid of taking it as I don't know how my body will react to the vaccine, my head is all over the place with news of Covid-19 and the many deaths of people dying even when they do get the jabs," she added.

Titus admitted that she did not think she was thoroughly educated about the vaccines. She said the information she has is from friends and the media.

She did not want something to happen to her and leave her son behind.

READ | 'Strong' Joburg father dies of Covid-19 three days before he was due to get his vaccine

Meanwhile, other young cohorts said they were eager to get jabbed and are already counting down the days.

Nokulunga Gigaba, 21, told News24 that she is beyond excited that finally their chance is approaching.

Gigaba said:

I bought me a new wig and outfit because I need to get some nice pics to post on social media, but I’m mostly getting vaccinated because I want to go visit my parents in Australia, I haven’t seen them in three years.

She added that she was also getting the jab in memory of her late brother who died after contracting Covid-19 last year.

The Langa resident said she feels that she's been educated enough about the vaccine through news articles and watching news channels.

Mishka Van Wyk, 30, said she will be getting the vaccine because it is currently the only "hope" there is that we can survive this pandemic.

"I don't think I've gotten enough information regarding the vaccine, there is a lot of stories going around about the jab not being efficient and this puts a damper on people's perspectives," she added.

Van Wyk added that the internet is her best friend, so she's gotten the information regarding vaccines from there.

READ | Complaints to be laid against leading heart surgeon after 'problematic' video on Covid-19 vaccines

"My medical aid has also been consistent in sending out information as to where I can register for the jab and where I can go get the vaccination, so I’m looking quite forward to getting the jab and protecting myself and those I come into contact with," she added.

Speaking about the importance of vaccines, traditional leader Lungelo Nokwaza said that vaccines are a form of protection, irrespective of the side effects.

"The side effects are very minimal. People should be allow themselves to be led by professional medical research and stop listening to conspiracy theories," Nokwaza added.

According to the Department of Health, a total of 9 185 756 vaccines have been administered in South Africa.

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