18 to 34-year-olds on getting jabs: We want things to go back to normal

This cohort started lining up for their jabs on Friday after the Department of Health announced that all South African adults can be vaccinated.

Nomvelo Radebe (22) from Soweto just received her jab at Bara Taxi Rank on 20 August 2021. All public vaccination sites in Gauteng accept walk-ins whether people are registered on the EVDS or not. Picture: @GautengHealth/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Some Joburg residents in the 18 to 34 group say now that they were vaccinated, they would return to normal life.

This cohort started lining up for their jabs on Friday after the Department of Health announced that all South African adults can be vaccinated.

By midnight, about 184,000 people of this age group had registered on the EVDS system.

READ: COVID vaccine sites ready to welcome 18 to 34 age group from Friday

Walking through the Discovery Centre in Sandton on Friday, those looking for jabs were received with a warm welcome and encouragement for starting and completing the vaccination process.

Eyewitness News spoke to some about their decision to get vaccinated.

One person said: “You just have to get vaccinated in order for things to get normal,” while another said: “the more people get vaccinated, the more things go back to normal.”

ALSO READ: South Africans aged 18 to 34 eligible for COVID vaccine jabs from Friday

While questions were raised about whether or not life will get back to normal, many had expressed relief at being given the opportunity to fight the virus.

CONSPIRACY THEORIES & FAKE NEWS

The Department of Health is also calling on young people not to allow conspiracy theories and fake news to keep them from the vaccine sites.

Kanya Ndaki contracted COVID-19 last year and ended up in the ICU and is still living with post-COVID complications.

She said she once refused to get vaccinated but now urged people to get the jab as it was the only way to save as many lives as possible.

“Trying to get up the stairs at my house is something so difficult. I thought to myself, I had COVID and almost died, so what’s the point of getting the vaccine but realised it can save my life.”

The department said if 70% of the 18- to 34-year-old age group got vaccinated, it was possible for South Africa to reach heard immunity.

The department has launched a new pilot project with the aim of making transportation to vaccine sites for those in high density areas easier by providing buses.

Phaahla said they were hoping vaccine sites would now become busy with all adults eligible for vaccination from Friday.

“For us to reach 70% of the adult population of 18 plus, which is just about 14 million, it means we have to reach just over 30 million people covered by the vaccination,”

Phaahla is worried about an 18% increase in new COVID-19 infections in the past week.

However, there is some good news with a 5% decline in hospitalisation.

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