More than 400 clergy, church leaders and pastors have been vaccinated since the start of the second phase of South Africa’s vaccination programme in May.

The majority of them belong to churches affiliated to the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

SACC’s Director of Church and Community Engagement, Reverend Mzwandile Molo, says citizens should have faith in the vaccines.

Molo, who is a Minister in the Methodist Church, says he received his dose a few days ago without any symptoms.

“Indeed I received my vaccine I was told to wait for 15 minutes just to make sure that I am not adversely affected. I stayed for 20 minutes. Nothing (happened). I went into my car, drove my car back home. Once I arrived home up until now (no symptoms). The only slight thing that happened is the discomfort around the area where I received the needle, beyond that, nothing.

Yet I am aware that there were some warnings that I could feel some feverish for a day or two. I could feel some headache for a day or two. Fortunately I haven’t felt any of those, but I’m sure others do feel so. All I know is that with the vaccine in my body I am better prepared to handle the threat of the virus” adds Reverend Molo.

More on Molo’s views in the audio below:

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and one of the leaders of the SACC, Thabo Makgoba, says he only experienced slight symptoms after receiving his second Pfizer dose in Cape Town last month.

Makgoba took his first vaccine dose in KwaZulu-Natal on May the 18th when he was in Pietermaritzburg to preside over the election of a new Bishop for the Anglican Diocese of Natal.

He was accompanied by some Anglican clergy who also took their first shots. The 60-year-old Anglican Archbishop says he is now fully vaccinated without any problems.

“I did not have any symptoms or any illness after my first vaccination except that where the needle went through. My arm it was a bit sore. It is only after my second vaccination that I had light headache. And after taking Panado, ginger tea and chamomile tea, my light headache was gone,” adds Archbishop Makgoba.

Mokgoba’s remarks in the audio clip below:

‘Only hope’

The Deputy President of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, Professor Brij Maharaj, says vaccination is the only hope against the coronavirus. Maharaj is one of the religious leaders who have been vaccinated without experiencing any negative side effects.

The SACC and different faith organisations have been encouraging citizens to have faith in vaccinations to achieve population immunity against COVID-19.

“The overwhelming majority of the Hindu leaders who qualify have taken the vaccine. To date we have not received any negative reports. Personally, I have also taken the vaccine and did not experience any negative side effects. The process was efficient and well managed and the Department of Health must be congratulated. We have no option, the vaccine is our only hope against the COVID (-19) virus. In Hinduism life is sacred and there is no prohibition against vaccines” says Professor Brij Maharaj.

Maharaj urges South Africans to get vaccinated:

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli says it’s almost a month since he received his first Pfizer vaccine dose and still feels well. Tsenoli is one of the Members of Parliament over the age of 60 who qualified to be vaccinated in the second phase of the rollout campaign, which kicked off on May 17.

He says citizens should vaccinate to protect themselves and those around them.

“I received my first jab of the Pfizer vaccine on the 9th of June. It’s a few days before the 9th of July. And I still feel great. And I am aware of other friends, people of my age group who got it at the same time except for one who was a bit down after (vaccination) in the first three days, but has fully recovered. The vaccine clearly is a good way to go to protect ourselves and those we live with and those in communities we live with. We do encourage others to do the same” says the National Assembly deputy speaker.

Tsenoli’s views in the audio clip below: