South African celebrities including Springbok rugby player Faf de Klerk, comedian Riaad Moosa, and actor Pearl Thusi have joined forces to encourage people to get Covid-19 vaccinations.The Queen Sono actor is using her social media platforms to speak about vaccine hesitancy, saying: “Spreading more fear and panic is really unnecessary because the entire world population has been through enough.”Peal admits that she was reluctant at first to get the Covid-19 vaccine, but after educating herself realised that her concerns were “littered with fear and misinformation”.Queen Sono actor Pearl Thusi has partnered with Viral Facts Africa and is calling on South Africans to #BeaSAver and get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Along with Springbok rugby player Faf de Klerk, comedian Riaad Moosa, and footballer Thulani Hlatshwayo, the TV personality is using her platform to combat vaccine hesitancy and dispel common misconceptions around the vaccine.
Pearl was initially hesitant about the vaccine, but after conducting her own research and consulting those in the medical profession, she “has seen the light and has taken the step forward for myself, my family, and country”.
Speaking to Channel24 about coping with her own Covid-19 vaccine anxiety, she says: “I have grown from the opinion I had even three weeks ago, because my opinion, my outlook, my perspective was all littered with fear and misinformation. But I took the initiative. I went and did the research. I found out what I needed to find out. And we’ve seen the effect the vaccine has had.
“I have made an effort to know even more so that I can get to the place not only where I know better, but I can also do better. I want to be a piece of the puzzle that leads this country to a picture of perfect health.”
Misinformation spreads panicShe says that there are many different views on the vaccine in South Africa, and people see things differently. But she believes there is plenty of misinformation and propaganda out there and that people will find information that concurs with their own beliefs.
“But scientifically, none of those arguments are supported. And at this stage, spreading more fear and panic is really unnecessary because the entire world population has been through enough,” she says.
She adds: “I have fallen prey to that sometimes, but that was unnecessary as I have now gathered enough information to support the reasons to take the vaccine. There is no need to panic.”
She now has the full picture and says she “wants to encourage people to do the right thing for their friends, families and communities”.
There is also light at the end of a very long tunnel
The impact of Covid-19 has had a “heartbreaking” effect on her career, says Pearl, as TV shows and other opportunities have been cancelled as a result. “But we will continue to find ways to thrive and survive,” she says.
She adds: “I have gone through two therapists since the pandemic started. And psychologically, it’s been very challenging. So I went to go see a psychologist to work through my emotions.
“I’ve been in and out of dark places through this period, periods of not being able to get out of bed then, motivating myself, finding pockets of depression that I slip into. It’s been very, very difficult. And then seeing all the death happening around you, people who didn’t make it. People who are really struggling and realising that you’re not really in a position to feel sorry for yourself, making you feel even worse sometimes,” she admits.
But looking ahead, she says: “I think that it’s really necessary that we interrupt the spread of this virus. If we can make life harder for this virus by getting vaccinated, then we have a better chance of surviving and getting ahead of this virus. I’m here to encourage people to get this vaccination. I understand the reluctance. I understand the fear. But we need to take action now so that we can come out victorious – on the other side of this entire ordeal.”
She says: “If you’re reluctant about the vaccination for yourself, think about your grandmother. Think about someone with asthma. Think about all the older people who are at higher risk of dying from this disease because of all the people who are choosing not to get vaccinated and therefore not protecting themselves and the people around them.
“I think that for me, that’s so important to note that sometimes it’s not about you. It’s about the people you love most. And if you can protect those people, then maybe there’s something to think about there.”
“So let’s just rise to the core, guys. Let’s do what needs to be done to get our lives back. We’re going to make it through this, but we’re going to get there sooner if we rise to the call and be a saver and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
With close to 8 million first shots of the vaccine being administered, South Africa is on its way to vaccinate its population. And with news that the country will start producing its own vaccines in 2022, more people will have the opportunity to #BeASaver and stop the spread of the virus.
Are you ready to #BeaSAver? Get informed and find out more at @viralfactsafro.
Viral Facts Africa is a social content hub launched in March 2021 by the Africa Infodemic Response Alliance to produce and distribute digital productions to combat health misinformation online. Since its launch, Viral Facts Africa has produced 180 videos and graphics in English, French, and Portuguese, reaching over 100 million views.
If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, readCovid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can’t find the facts you’re looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.