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Will the country ever know how much damage to public health was done last year by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng claiming the Covid vaccines bore the “mark of the beast”?
Many devout Christians would have taken the part time pastor’s word as gospel and would have been refusing to get vaccinated.
That vaccine hesitancy – and downright anti-vaxx stubbornness – is what is keeping this country from getting back to normal.
Despite what the hesitant and the anti-vaxxers say, there is ample evidence – from both overseas and here in South Africa – that vaccinated people have a far lower chance of experiencing severe disease, being hospitalised and even dying than the refuseniks.
It addition, scientists believe that large proportions of unvaccinated people in society provide a fertile ground for mutations of the coronavirus.
There have been multiple warnings that, if we do not speed up the rate of vaccination, we will be in for a torrid time when the fourth wave hits us in November or December.
Therefore, it is good to see influential religious organisations throwing their weight behind the vaccination programme and, in the process, giving the lie to the ravings of people like Mogoeng Mogoeng.
The Muslim Association has been leading the way, both in its messaging to the faithful and by putting its commitment where its mouth is with initiatives like the Houghton Masjid (mosque), which has just past the 50 000 mark in the number of vaccines administered at its drive-in facility.
Rhema Church has made a plain statement of commitment, too, in allowing its premises to be used as a vaccination site – and has, merely by doing so, eased the fears of many congregants who may have been susceptible to the warped comments on the virus in the flood of fake news about it.
Let us give thanks…
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