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To Vaccinate or Not — There Lies the Question.

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on August 13, 2021 14:07

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Friendships have suffered, families are breaking up and false news floods the debating spaces, just as it did in the time of the Black Death.

As the deadly third wave of the local pandemic shows signs of receding, South Africa heaves a sigh of relief. The bungled and mismanaged vaccination program is finally getting up to speed. Yet now there is a slowing of demand for the vaccine. Today’s news carries severe criticism against a prominent South African heart surgeon whose critique of the vaccine and the management of the pandemic has influenced many. Health authorities in Gauteng urge men to vaccinate because they are more likely to die of the disease, but also less likely to get the shot, a pattern that is seen elsewhere. 

My personal experience is simple. In my first years of primary school, a very cute classmate nearly died of whooping cough, something unknown today because of vaccination. My cousin nearly died of polio, and now, sixty years later, suffers from post-polio syndrome. Vaccines wiped out polio in all but a few places where religious fanatics demonized it. I myself risked hearing damage from measles and possible sterility from German measles.  

At the time of the Black Death, vaccines were not known, at least not in the West, yet quack cures abounded. Apart from blaming foreigners for the plague, prayers, dancing, flagellation, bloodletting, urine baths and other remedies were tried and proved ineffective. Read up on the Vicary Method, please.

Despite today’s knowledge, modern media will resound to claims that dewormers, malaria medication and other cures are to be preferred. In Madagascar, an herbal cure was touted (the island still recorded 17,341 cases and 251 deaths). Several African leaders claimed that prayers would keep the virus away — two such presidents reportedly died of the virus. 

A good friend and PhD will re-post every anti-vaccine conspiracy theory she can get her hands on and even rejected a Reuters fact-checking article I sent her “because Reuters is owned by billionaires.” Some relatives held out against vaccines because they believed it would cripple them and only relented when the matriarch ordered them to get the jab in the interests of her health.

I have had my two jabs and my wife will have her second one next week and yet this wave of the disease has hit close to home. Two friends, both vaccinated overseas, have now tested positive, a fifteen-year-old boy has lost both his parents and my medical practitioner has lost an entire family among his patients.

Statistics are clear. The risk of death drastically decreases if you are vaccinated, even if it does not render you immune. But as long as there are unvaccinated populations, the virus has the opportunity to mutate and become more virulent. 

So go get your jab. And remember: There’s no vaccine against stupid.  

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on August 13, 2021 14:07

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Source: The Blaze
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