14-year-old Eastern Cape learner facing arm amputation after allegedly taking COVID-19 vaccine

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A 14-year-old learner from Tina Falls Primary School in Qumbu in the Eastern Cape is facing a possible arm amputation after she allegedly received a COVID-19 vaccination. Yamkela Seplan got an infection and developed a huge lump on the upper arm.

The upper arm lump has been swelling since last year. The young girl has since dropped out of school due to her condition. Medical doctors have suggested the possible amputation of the girl’s arm.

This is a young girl whose ambitions to become a social worker. The COVID-19 vaccine is alleged to have threatened this young girl’s dream. It is alleged that she was forced get the vaccination, if not she would not be registered as a learner.

After injection she developed a lump that forced her out of school. She was sent to Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital and later to BedFord Orthopeadic hospital.

“On the vaccination day, we were instructed to go and bring our parents. I went out and called my mother but she refused to come and sign so that I could be vaccinated. After we were threatened that those who had not vaccinated would not get the school, I then vaccinated. After vaccination I developed a small lump in February last year and in December it became worse. I had to quit schooling,” says Yamkela Seplan.

The family blames the Nelson Mandela Academic hospital for negligence.

“We went to the hospital and we were told to go back because it was a Good Friday weekend. There are no doctors that will check her. So we should go home. We came back to Nelson Mandela Academic hospital, but we were referred to Bedford Orthopedic. Surprisingly the doctors at Mandela Academic did not write the report. We were told that they did not check the medical condition of the child. We were disappointed because this should have been detected early if what was the main reason after she was injected by the department,” says her  mother Nombuyekezo Seplan

A Children’s Rights advocacy group wants justice for the young girl.

“Someone has to take responsibility and it is our responsibility as advocacy for children’s rights to prove that it was not as a result of the vaccination that has got to a problem that we are facing right now.  And therefore we will need another opinion from outside the department and definitely that is something we will have to follow and we can assure the people of South Africa that we will not just leave it here. We will push it until we get justice for this little girl,” says Petros Majola, Khula, community development director.

The Health Department in the province says the matter is receiving the necessary urgency it deserves.

“The child has been receiving treatment from the multidisciplinary team that consists of specialist doctors and social workers from the Nelson Mandela Academic hospital and Bedford hospitals in Mthatha. Samples were taken for further analysis to determine the causes of the inflammation. The child has since been referred to Frere hospital. The results will be communicated to the family and the department is treating the matter with urgency it deserves,” says spokesperson Yonela Dekeda,

Vaccine hesitancy among children has been a great concern. It is prompted by a number of factors including religious and traditional beliefs. COVID-19 preventative measures are still regarded as a solution to the spread. Social activists want government to ensure the safety of children before and after any form of vaccination.