Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
22 Sep 2021
1:15 pm

‘Get vaccinated! The jab saved me,’ says Tshwane mayor

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Public figures and politicians have joined a chorus of voices concerned about vaccine hesitancy leading to a slower pace of vaccination in some pockets of the country.

Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams says getting the Covid-19 vaccine saved him from serious symptoms. (Photo by Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu)

Get vaccinated and help us all avoid a fourth wave and more restrictions! It’s a choice that can literally save your life.

This is the message from the Tshwane Mayor, Randall Williams, and a group of other public figures who are concerned about vaccine hesitancy leading to the slow pace of vaccination in some pockets of the country.

To date, 1.897,431 people have been fully vaccinated in Gauteng out of 3.026,839 people who have received at least one vaccine dose. In Johannesburg, 775,816 people have been fully vaccinated while in Tshwane that number is 516,718.

Williams says he counts himself lucky to be among those who took the first opportunity afforded to them to take the Covid-19 vaccine. He believes it’s a choice that saved his life as when he eventually caught the virus, he did not get seriously ill.

“For this I was very grateful because on 2nd of July I was notified that I contracted Covid-19. My work requires me to engage with many people so there was a strong possibility I would catch the virus. I was quite sick with a raging sore throat and immense muscle fatigue and tiredness. Thankfully the virus didn’t go into my lungs and I was not hospitalised. This is because I was vaccinated and had some form of immunity,” says Williams.

Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams appealing to residents to get vaccinated

After months enduring a harsh third wave, South Africa has finally begun to see a decline in the Covid-19 infection rate in the country, which was largely driven by the Delta variant of the virus. As the country prepares for its first post-Covid-19 municipal election, government has upped the ante in its vaccination drive across the country.

Also Read: Covid-19: Vaccine passport rules might infringe on human rights

According to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases’ (NICD) latest data, the current surge in Covid-19 infections seems to be showing signs of a sustained downward trend. On Sunday, the institute reported 2,281 new Covid-19 cases in South Africa, bringing the the total number of reported cases to 2.882,630. This increase represents a 7.4% positivity rate. At the same time, the National Department of Health reported a further 58 Covid-19 related deaths, bringing total fatalities to 86,174 to date.

Last week, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) expressed concern that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout was being stalled by widespread vaccine hesitancy.