Volunteers Tackle Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in South Africa

Despite Covid-19 vaccines being available to all South African adults, uptake remains low with just 20% of adults having received a first dose, writes Linda Givetash for Voice of America.

With South Africa's Covid-19 death toll surpassing 79,000, volunteer health workers are scrambling to quell people's vaccine fears. The Muslim Association of South Africa launched an at-home vaccination programme to provide individual attention to allay concerns and to remove the barriers of travelling to a clinic. This comes after deputy-director in the Health Department, Nicholas Crisp noted a decline in the number of vaccines administered daily.

The uptake in volunteer work also follows reports that some healthcare workers, including doctors, have discouraged patients from getting Covid-19 vaccinations, based on doubts about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness. As of August 25, 2021, South Africa recorded 2,708,951 confirmed cases of Covid-19 of which 190,687 proved fatal and 6,693,589 resulted in recovery. Vaccines doses administered to date total 10.8 milllion, while 4.98 million of the population have been fully vaccinated according to Google.

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