Tanelle Welff-Dixon, Founder of Tanelle Welff Ministries and Foundation
There is a “fear factor” against vaccination that is the primary cause of concern among the community.
President Cyril Ramaphosa who represents the national government has reassured citizens that the vaccinations will not be made mandatory. However, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, has been advocating for mandatory vaccinations. We cannot be politicising people’s health.
As a cleric and Covid-19 survivor, I want us as leaders to use caution about what and when we use our positions of authority to violate the trust and human rights of our communities.
We have conflicting information regarding the safety of the two Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer vaccines “jabs’’ and the use of Ivermectin.
Ivermectin manufactured by Merck Pharmaceuticals has been safely used for almost 40 years to treat certain parasitic infections especially in Africa.
It was also indicated that certain local neighbourhood watches were not willing to assist them in their roll-out of the vaccination in certain crime hot spot areas as only certain people were paid.
I questioned why SAPS and the SANDF are not being deployed to protect the health officials assigned to work in these crime hot spot areas.
The fear factor that exists can be overcome if the health departments become more transparent, including public participation processes through awareness and the faith communities play an active role in advocating for the human rights of people to be respected and given freedom of choice when it comes to their health.
Everyone has the right to life. It is recorded in our South African Constitution in Section 12. (2) Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right— (a) to make decisions concerning reproduction; (b) to security in and control over their body; and (c) not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.
This is a crime against humanity and against our constitutional rights. Our people perish for a lack of knowledge. We do not have enough data to make informed decisions and fear paralysis people, hence the resistance and the low 18% turn-out for vaccinations.
- Reverend Tanelle Welff-Dixon is founder of Tanelle Welff Ministries and Foundation, a Covid-19 survivor and one of the speakers at the Mitchell’s Plain United Residents Association Covid-19 awareness workshop.