Getting a Covid-19 vaccination is a way to protect your heritage, says mayor Dan Plato.
Mr Plato was speaking at a youth-vaccination programme, at the Athlone Centre of Hope, at the Athlone Stadium, last week.
Athlone had a rich heritage and the youth needed to get their Covid jabs to protect themselves and their county’s heritage, he said.
About 100 youth from the Life Counts Youth initiative were at the event to get vaccinated and they urged their peers to do the same. Life Counts Youth is a mayoral outreach project, supporting personal development and mentoring in more than 60 areas across the city.
The vaccines offered protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death, said Mr Plato.
“I am sure you also want normal life to resume as soon as possible and to be able to hug your friends and socialise with more peace of mind.
“Today’s event is part of a continued awareness initiative around getting the vaccine, and we encourage all to get the jab as soon as possible.
“Getting vaccinated means life can return to relative normality, and I’m sure all of us would like to experience a proper summer season to enjoy quality time with friends and family,” he said.
“This month is heritage month and we use occasions like these to focus on our heritage and the future. It is important that the youth get vaccinated so that we can overcome this pandemic and can look forward to future events celebrating our heritage.”
Men, who tended to be more reluctant to get the vaccine than women, should get the jab to protect their families, he said.
“Men don’t want to come for the jab because of their fear of a needle. Encourage your peers, brothers and fathers to get vaccinated,” he said.
Community activist and youth developer Sylvester Jantjies, 33, from Lavender Hill got vaccinated. He said it was important to protect himself and others from the deadly virus.
“It’s important to get vaccinated to secure my health and my future. All of us should be vaccinated. We are the leaders and before we can have a future, we need to first take the steps in the right direction. We need to set the standard so that other people of colour can follow and so that we can shift the narrative. Our heritage is important, and we want to build on that,” he said.
Charne Williams, 23, from Beacon Valley, said she got vaccinated to protect her family.
“My entire house has been vaccinated, including my granny, and now I am also safe from the virus and so is my whole family.”