"COVID-19 vaccine is not an evil ploy to kill black people" says KZN Health HOD, as he urges the public to avoid unnecessary and preventable COVID-19 death by getting vaccinated

23 September 2021

The COVID – 19 vaccine is not part of some evil ploy to kill Black people.

This is the strong point of correction from the Head of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Dr Sandile Tshabalala, who has sought to smash a number of myths and misconceptions that have swirled around the COVID - 19 vaccine. He has called on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to ignore the widespread fake news and get a jab, in order to avoid unnecessary and preventable deaths due to the virus.

Dr Tshabalala was speaking at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus this afternoon, at the end of a vaccination promotional campaign that started at Sobantu Township before moving to the city’s busy taxi rank. Dr Tshabalala decried the fact that despite 14 295 people having died due to COVID – 19 in KwaZulu-Natal, many people still appeared unprepared to take a vaccine that had been found to be safe and highly effective, which could help them in the likely event that they got infected.

Vaccination involves giving a person small, harmless amounts of an infectious agent (for example a virus). This is done in order for their immune system to “train” itself for the next time it meets the same infectious agent.

This weakened version of the virus that is administered will not cause the disease in the person receiving the vaccine, but will prompt their immune system to respond.

Some vaccines require multiple doses, given weeks or months apart. This is sometimes necessary in order to allow for the production of long-lived antibodies and development of memory cells.

Vaccines are highly safe and effective at preventing diseases, and are studied for safety more than any other medication.

Dr Tshabalala said it was odd and unfortunate that none of the vaccines in the country’s comprehensive vaccination programme had ever been doubted or subjected to scrutiny – unlike the COVID – 19 vaccine.

"The truth of the matter is there is a vaccination programme in South Africa, which starts as soon as you are born. You get to be vaccinated from that time on until you are at least 14 years old. You get to be vaccinated with different vaccines, which themselves have different things in them, and as such you are not even aware what is in this vaccine. But today you want to question this vaccine? That is not normal."

"Also, there are preservatives in all these vaccines that we do not question. But this one we want to question?"

"The reality of the matter is, if anyone wanted to kill South Africans using a vaccine, they could have achieved that long ago. So, it is mere fake news that now there is somebody who want to kill South Africans using any vaccine for that matter. If you’re saying it’s aimed at killing Black people… Everyone across the racial spectrum is getting vaccinated. Then, why would it kill only Black people? It does not make sense. So, there is nothing like that.”

Dr Tshabalala also urged the public to ask to get tested for COVID – 19 even when they were suffering from what appeared to be a bout of flu.

"The MEC for Health Ms Nomagugu Simelane is on record as saying that this is what we must do because, quite often, flu symptoms may be the same as those of COVID – 19, so we really should leave nothing to chance.”

The Department was joined in the blitz by COVID - 19 vaccination programme influencers, comedian Felix Hlophe of Gagasi FM, and TV actress Brenda Mhlongo.

Hlophe shared his own journey of battling COVID – 19, and echoed the sentiments that the COVID – 19 vaccine was as safe as any other, including the jabs that people take for contraception.

"I was knocking on heaven's door, when I got infected with COVID-19 during the first wave," Hlophe said. "If it had not been for the advances in modern science, and the support that I received from my wife, I would not be here today.

There's a lot of misinformation right now on social media. That is why we have a campaign that says, 'Get the facts, then get the vax.'

We trust experts and medical professionals when they say, 'take this jab, and that it will ensure that, should you have unprotected sex, it will not result in an unwanted pregnancy.' We never ask what's in it. We just trust them. Why can't we do the same with the COVID – 19 vaccine?"

ENDS

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This page last edited on 27 September, 2021

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