Govt’s vaccination campaign struggling to get into hearts, minds of young people – Phaahla

Govt’s vaccination campaign struggling to get into hearts, minds of young people – Phaahla

Health Minister Joe Phaahla has pleaded with young South Africans to get jabbed.

Joe Phaahla Buti Manamela
Sibahle Motha

Phaahla, together with Deputy Higher Education Minister Bhuti Manamela, launched the Youth Vaccination programme at the Tshwane South TVET college on Friday. 


The programme aims to encourage the country’s youth to get vaccinated in their numbers.


“Our big struggle is to get into the hearts and minds of South Africans. So that is the difficult part, and we still aspire currently. What we are looking at, together with the World Health Organisation and other partners, we have a target to say at least by the end of March we could be at 60% and then end of June, internationally, the target even in the AU at least by June this year we should’ve reached 70%.” 


Less than 30% of the country’s youth have been vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. 


This is a significant number of unvaccinated youths who make up over 60% of the country’s population. 

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa challenges COVAX to buy vaccines from local manufacturing hubs


Dr Busisiwe Kabana, from the DG Marie Trust, said the youth only make up 28.3% of those who are fully vaccinated. 


“As of 12 February 2022, the main statistics that we were going to give is that the group 18-35 years old have been fully vaccinated. This is considerably low compared to the other age groups.”


 Kabana said one of the main reasons cited by youth is a lack of time and transport.


"We did a lot of research through UJ, and most of the young people are not staunch anti-vaxxers. It comes down to the nitty-gritty of life like not having time, money, or transport. Going to the clinic and being shifted around and sent back. If we can speak to the young people and solve those very issues, I think we will be fine.”

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