Time, money, transport stand between youth and vaccination

Huge stumbling blocks resulting in low vaccination numbers in youth are lack of transport, money, and time.

Not all South Africa’s unvaccinated young people are staunch anti-vaxxers, but some simply face huge stumbling blocks in getting jabbed, in the form of lack of transport, money, and time.

This was revealed by Dr Busisiwe Kabana, from the DG Marie Trust, during the launch of the youth vaccination programme at the Tshwane South TVET college on Friday. 

The launch was attended to by the minister of health Joe Phaahla and Deputy Higher Education Minister Bhuti Manamela.

“We did a lot of research through UJ, and most of the young people are not staunch anti-vaxxers,” said Kabana.

“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.”

According to Kabane the youth only make up 28.3% of those who are fully vaccinated.

Lately the department of health has been in a quest to get young people and the youth to get vaccinated, and targeted both the departments of basic and higher education to achieve this.

Last week Phaahla and his deputy, Sibongiseni Dhlomo visited the KwaMagxaki High School at Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape where the Pfizer vaccine against coronavirus was administered to eligible learners.

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Phaahla said it was hard to penetrate the hearts and minds of young people.

This is the cohort mostly exposed to social media and inundated with fake news and conspiracy theories about vaccines.

According to the findings from research conducted by Ipsos research agency last year, with the support of the UK Embassy in Podgorica and UNICEF, South Africa had the highest number of people (57%) who believe that information on the harmful effects of vaccines was deliberately being concealed from the public.

These are the findings from international research that was conducted in 25 countries across the world.

With less than 30% of the country’s youth having been vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic Phaahla said that the department was hard at work to get at least 60% of young people vaccinated by June.

“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%,” said Phaahla.