Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has joined a list of leaders who have vowed to take the Covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available.
This as the country battles with Covid-19 vaccine misinformation that has resulted in some vowing not to be vaccinated.
Tutu has pledged to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and called on other public figures to follow suit.
“I join many other world leaders in pledging to have a vaccine against Covid-19 as soon as one becomes available to me. Vaccines have eradicated terrible diseases such as smallpox, and we are close to using them to make others, such as polio and measles, history. Yet many people are scared or wary of this simple, safe, and effective way of protecting people against infectious diseases before they even come into contact with them,” he said in a statement.
“There is nothing to fear. Vaccination uses your body’s natural defences to build resistance to infections. It makes your immune system stronger, and because vaccines contain only killed or weakened forms of disease-causing viruses or bacteria, they do not cause the disease or put you at risk of its complications.
“The more people who are vaccinated against Covid-19, the more every one of us is protected against this unpredictable and devastating disease,” said Tutu.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has also vowed to take the vaccine once it is available.
During the party’s virtual press conference on Thursday, Malema slammed conspiracy theorists and questioned why they had been taking western medicine for years without fear of depopulation.
“Vaccinations have played an important role in eradicating viruses in the history of humanity. Polio and malaria [sic] have caused havoc in societies and it was through vaccines that human lives have been spared from death. Vaccines are a necessary and inevitable intervention in defeating Covid-19,” said the EFF leader.
His comments were welcomed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also called on people to voluntarily take the vaccine to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Ramaphosa also promised that that vaccine rollout would be corruption-free.