Malmesbury gets COVID-19 vaccine site, as WC seeks to dispel jab hesitancy

Authorities have noted vaccine hesitancy in rural, predominantly Afrikaans communities.

FILE: An elderly woman gives the thumbs up after being vaccinated. Picture: Western Cape Government

CAPE TOWN - Residents in rural communities are being encouraged to register for a COVID-19 vaccine.

The premier led a delegation to Malmesbury on Tuesday to launch the Swartland's first public vaccination site.

Authorities have noted vaccine hesitancy in rural, predominantly Afrikaans communities.

Clifford van der Merwe said that he was excited to have received his Pfizer shot.

“I waited for a long time for this. You know, a lot of people die of this virus and I wouldn't like the other older people who are scared of this, they must come because this is the only solution,” he said.

Even though his wife was still on the fence, he was not allowing her fears of potential side-effects to stand in his way.

"Yes, my wife is very afraid, but I told her, I said don't worry. Our immune system is strong, we won't get side-effects," said the elderly man.

Juanita Pedro and her husband rushed to the vaccine site, as they both had the virus in January.

“I don't think they are afraid, I just think they maybe they didn't explain it to them the importance of it, you know?” Pedro said.

More than 100 sites are being opened across the province this week.

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