COVID-19 Vaccines do not affect men's sexual performance or cause infertility," Assures KZN Health MEC, as she visits district with the lowest vaccination numbers to encourage residents to get the jab

08 February 2022

SOME men are not getting the COVID-19 vaccine due to unfounded fears that their sexual performance will diminish; while some women seem to believe that if they get the jab they will become infertile.

These are some of the misconceptions that are worrying KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane, who today visited Uthukela District (Ladysmith), which has registered the lowest vaccination numbers in the Province.

The MEC's vaccination drive, which has been dubbed Operation Siyagoma Waya Waya, was well-received. In addition to the MEC speaking out against these widespread myths, a total of 241 people were vaccinated during numerous home visits and at vaccination sites that had been set up in and around the rural Uitval village, about an hour's drive from the Ladysmith central business district.

Out of nearly 500 000 people who are eligible for the vaccines at Uthukela District, only 198 000 or 38% have been vaccinated, leaving a balance of 301 500 who are yet to vaccinate.

In the Province, only 2,903 million people have been vaccinated, with 4, 315 still outstanding. A further 350 762 people are due for their second dose.

MEC Simelane says false beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccines, which are mostly peddled on social media, are to blame for the slow vaccination uptake.

"The number of people who have vaccinated in the Province is extremely low. That is why we've decided that we needed a programme that goes directly to communities to get them to come and vaccinate. I must also indicate that from that 2.9 million people who've been vaccinated, it's mostly those that are insured (have medical aid), which is a concern for us. Those that live in rural areas and townships are the ones that are not coming out to vaccinate. That's why we decided to have a programme that specifically targets them.

"We have found that there's quite a number of myths and misconceptions that are making the rounds, and the majority of them are coming from social media platforms. Some of them are indicating that...they believe there's quite a few people who have passed on from the vaccination - something that has not been scientifically proven.

"Others believe that when you get vaccinated you are not going to have kids, that's mostly with the younger generation. Others...particularly the males...believe that if you get vaccinated you then become impotent, which, again, couldn't be more further from the truth. This is the kind of anecdotal evidence we are getting. So, we have to deal with all these misconceptions, and we believe that coming here and walking amongst the communities, we are able to dispel these myths.

"We've been able to do that, and people that have been coming out to our pop-up sites as we are going around have actually made a commitment to get vaccinated and the numbers are quite promising. It's a clear indication that the only thing that people need is someone to speak to them properly and explain properly what a vaccine is, and how it works.

"We will be engaging communities directly as the Provincial government, led by the Premier and all the other MEC's that are Champions in the different Districts, and they'll be visiting their different Districts. We'll also be engaging communities through the different sectors, including amakhosi, the religious sector, traditional health practitioners and the business community, to mention but a few.

"This will give communities an opportunity to ask us questions that are worrying them, to talk to us about things that they are uncomfortable with, so that they can go and vaccinate. We will be having pop-up sites in each and every one of those programmes throughout the Province."

In the last 24-hour reporting period, KwaZulu-Natal registered 145 new COVID-19 infections. Since 05 March 2020, 15 882 people have sadly lost their lives due to the virus, while 645 200 tested positive, with 615 470 thankfully recovering.

ENDS Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

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This page last edited on 22 March, 2022

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