Spectators were allowed back at the Rugby Championship matches between the All Blacks and Australia in Auckland and Queensland.
It is abundantly clear that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and reduce deaths. We need an Herculean effort to vaccinate 60% of South Africans before the fourth wave hits, writes Adriaan Basson.
It is now becoming abundantly clear that vaccinations against Covid-19 are the only way to reclaim some normality to our lives since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year.
I am a big sports fan and watched with envy how fans returned to the stadiums to watch football in Britain, rugby in Australia, and the Grand Prix in the Netherlands.
In most of these countries, it is now generally accepted that you must be fully vaccinated or produce a negative Covid-19 test to be allowed back into the stadium. It is becoming a standard requirement for organisers of social gatherings to require attendees to be vaccinated.
In some parts of Canada, legislation will require you to produce your vaccination card when you visit restaurants, bars, theatres, clubs, and gyms.
The case of Discovery
In South Africa, Discovery has become the first corporate brave enough to require mandatory vaccination from all their staff members. In a compelling letter to staff, group CEO Adrian Gore brilliantly argues why mandatory vaccination is the right thing to do.
READ: The Vax nuts: Why vaccine hesitancy is the scourge of our times
“The scale of personal tragedy has been immense. Based on excess deaths data published by the South African Medical Research Council, we calculate that there have been more than 220 000 excess deaths in South Africa due to Covid-19 since May 2020,” wrote Gore.
“More than 14 000 of our clients and 20 of our employees have also lost their lives because of Covid-19. In addition, livelihoods have been severely impacted during a series of necessary lockdowns and associated restrictions. Furthermore, a fourth wave appears likely. However, the ability to suppress it is in our control. Based on our actuarial projections, over 30 000 lives can be saved if we are able to vaccinate over 60% of our population over the coming months.
“Vaccination is our country’s best hope of reaching population immunity, defeating the pandemic, and restoring our national vibrancy and way of life. We need to act, and boldly so.” I cannot agree more.
Only 25% of the South African adult population had received one or both Covid-19 jabs by Sunday night. This is shockingly low for a country that, as Gore argues, had likely suffered more than 200 000 deaths due to Covid-19 so far.
Selfish not to get the jab
All of us know someone who has died from this virus that has turned our world upside down. With much research that the vaccines are safe and rapidly decrease your chance of being hospitalised or dying, it is incredibly selfish not to take the jab.
Gore’s actuaries have run the numbers; we can save over 30 000 lives when the fourth wave is likely to hit in December if more than 60% of the adult population is vaccinated. This will require an Herculean effort from all of us, including Health Minister Joe Phaahla, his department, and the private sector. But it can be done.
Even if you think you are young or healthy enough to survive Covid-19 or had the virus and therefore don’t need to be vaccinated, I plead with you to reconsider your view. Covid-19 does not discriminate against age, and even if you had the virus, you can be infected again and pass it on to someone else, who may be more fragile than you.
READ: ‘There were many conspiracy theories’ – from fear of the unknown to getting vaccinated against Covid
The vaccinations are not fool proof against infection, but study-after-study has shown the dramatic decrease in hospitalisations and deaths in countries where most citizens were vaccinated.
In recent weeks, I have picked up a false equivalence in the arguments put forward by anti-vaxxers and their friends. They try to portray the arguments for and against vaccination as equal and pretend the medical world is split along these lines.
This is a complete and utter lie. The medical world is not split on vaccinations; the number of doctors and scientists who oppose the vaccination is so tiny, it is safe to call them a fringe.
I’m sure somewhere in the world, there is still a doctor or a nurse who opposes the chickenpox or measles vaccinations we give to our children when they are small. The fact that they can upload a video to YouTube or record a voice note on WhatsApp does not make them an authority on the matter.
To be pro-vaccination is not progressive; it is normal. It would be a great comfort to know that most of the country’s adults want to save lives before the state considers mandatory vaccination for all its citizens.
– Adriaan Basson is editor-in-chief of News24.
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