Youth vaccine turnout gives 'hope that end to this time of hardship is within our sights' - Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • The vaccination of people aged 18 to 34 started last Friday after approval by Cabinet.
  • The president hailed the throngs of young people who streamed to vaccination sites across the country.
  • Meanwhile, 10 748 new Covid-19 cases and 170 deaths were reported as of Sunday. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on young South Africans to promote the Covid-19 vaccine.

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa hailed the youth for their positivity and determination to get the vaccine since registration for people in the 18 to 34 age category opened on Friday. He described their turnout as "impressive" and that it filled him with "great pride". 

"The young people of our country are giving us all hope that an end to this time of hardship is within our sights," the president wrote. 

Ramaphosa said while he was impressed by the enthusiasm and excitement of the youth he had seen interviewed while queuing for their jab, he was mostly also impressed by their knowledge about the vaccine, how it protected people and why it was important to get it. 

WATCH | Gauteng youngsters come out in numbers for their Covid-19 jabs

The president said: 

The maturity that young people have brought to the important task of vaccinating as many South Africans as possible, calls to mind the words of Frantz Fanon, that it is to each generation to discover its mission and fulfil it.

Ramaphosa said South Africa last week passed the milestone of administering 10 million doses. He said while nearly five million people were now fully vaccinated, there was, however, still a long way to go - and that was where the youth came in. 

He added that the turnout to sites by young people was not surprising as they had been an important part of national efforts in fighting the pandemic since it broke out in March 2020.

19-year-old Morgan Samuels receives his Covid-19 vaccine at Cloetesville Community Health Clinic.
ER Lombard/Gallo Images

"We have seen the youth step up to keep themselves and others safe. We have seen youth formations and community organisations, young leaders, influencers and content creators using their platforms to share public health messages with their peers.

"Young people have been brave and forthright when they have seen their friends or popular personalities violating the regulations at parties, grooves and gatherings. They have called them out," Ramaphosa said. 

ALSO READ | 18+ vaccinations can potentially change SA's Covid trajectory


He added that he was also proud of young volunteers in communities who were assisting the elderly with vaccination registrations.

Ramaphosa said despite the positivity around the vaccine, there was still shady content and conspiracies being circulated about it, and called on young people to not circulate them. 

He said the messages were harmful and making people hesitant to get the vaccine. 

"These vaccines are safe. They work. They don't affect anybody's performance in any way. Most importantly, they save lives." 

Ramaphosa said young people had always been the drivers of progress, innovation and change. He thanked youth organisations, leaders and influencers for their efforts to encourage young people to be vaccinated. 

"Your time is now. Go and get your jab. This is your mission and your chance to fulfil it."

According to the Department of Health there were 10 748 new cases and 170 deaths reported as of Sunday. 

The cumulative number of cases were 2 690 973 and deaths stood at 79 421. 

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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