Manenberg Health Committee members say their efforts to educate the community about the Covid-19 vaccine paid off when a record number of people came to get their jabs.
Fearing that too few people were getting vaccinated, the committee members ran an education drive, says chairwoman Marian Kinnes.
They had reason to celebrate on Tuesday September 21, she said, when more than 250 people came to get jabs at Manenberg People’s Centre – more people than the available vaccines.
Losing a loved one often also meant losing a breadwinner and that could be a hard blow in a poor community like Manenberg, she said.
“We had a huge turn-out… I am very proud of our members,” Ms Kinnes said, adding that many were still hesitant to get vaccinated.
“I run a feeding kitchen and I get to interact with many people. There are some people who are still resistant. What I found is that some grandchildren tell their grandparents not to go. Our young people should not discourage or influence our seniors. Yes, we are all going to die, but if there is a chance of extending our lifespan, why are we so scared to take it? It all comes down to education.”
Bokeem Paulse, 21, was among the hundreds who agreed to get the vaccine.
“I didn’t believe in this because there are so many rumours floating around,” he said. “I am a strong believer, and some people want you to believe that if you take the vaccine, then your faith is not strong.
“The debate around whether to take the vaccine or not has even gone as far as splitting families apart. Some of my relatives are still uncertain. After doing some research, I have found that the vaccine is not as scary as some would want you to believe. If all of us do our part to get vaccinated, then we can get over this virus, and get back some sort of normalcy.”
Marlicia Cupido said she had no concerns about the vaccine and encouraged others to get vaccinated as well.
National statistics show the country has exited the third wave.
At the time of going to press, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said the new infection rate had dropped below a thousand people and the seven-day moving average of daily case numbers had decreased with sustained decreases in all provinces.
The Western Cape still accounted for 12% of infections, which was the third highest province in the country.