By Faith Nyasuguta
Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president has hailed the enthusiasm of the nation’s youth for the Covid-19 vaccine just days after the country expanded its vaccination programme.
Ramaphosa confirmed that over 500,000 youth had already registered for Covid vaccination by Saturday when the jabs were made available to 18-34-year-olds.
In the president’s view, it was impressive to watch videos of the youth lining up for jabs and interviews of them speaking on the advantages of getting the jab.
He asserts that the young have great information on Covid jabs and should go ahead and convince all adults to get the jab.
“We would like to see young people becoming walking adverts for the vaccination process. We appeal to young people to post pictures of themselves getting vaccinated,” the president said.
So far, South Africa has administered 10 million doses of both the Johnson & Johnson or the Pfizer vaccine.
About 20.27 per cent of adults have been vaccinated out of an adult population of over 39 million people.
In a maiden agreement for Covid-19 jabs to be assembled in Africa, South African drug manufacturer Aspen penned a deal with Johnson & Johnson to assemble its Covid-19 vaccine ingredients, put them in vials and package them.
The move was lauded by the African Union and the South African government as it was set to boost vaccine production and distribution in Africa.
However, African health activists have criticized Johnson & Johnson for exporting vaccines assembled in South Africa to countries in Europe.