Young people are calling on government to intensify their COVID-19 vaccination programs in deep rural areas as the country is entering the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those that were attending the Vooma Vaccination Weekend Drive in Cyferskuil in the Moretele Local Municipality in the North West says there is a lot of misinformation especially on social media about the vaccination that are keeping people from vaccinating.

With the country entering the fourth wave of COVID-19 young people are appealing to government to come up with an innovative program to get people to vaccinate.

The North West province has already surpassed the forty percent (40%) mark of people who have been inoculated by the COVID-19 vaccine but young people say the spreading of false information about the vaccine are keeping many away.

“As young people, we are active on the social media platforms, the social media platforms sometimes can mislead people. So as young person I can vaccinate then I can go to social media while am vaccinated and mislead people.”

“People are scared, people are not informed about the vaccine, leadership must come to the ground. The vaccine is the way to fight coronavirus, just that people are not properly informed.  I think that is the only problem.”

The North West Premier Bushy Maape, says with the new Omicron variant spreading fast across the country government needs to intensify its information campaign.

“We have reached 41%, we are doing better than other provinces, but I don’t think we are achieving the numbers we should be achieving, we are intensifying the campaign. We think the problem area is generally the youth, we want to device strategies to speak to them. I think our message is not involved either to really make sense and resonating the youth. We have identified the problem, and we want to address the problem, and also for them to understand even the new variant, I think is this very group, this is the very group we are targeting, the ones that are subjected to misinformation,” says Maape.

Omicron is now the dominant variant in Gauteng as cases spike:

National Health minister Joe Phaahla says they have noted an increase in admissions of children, especially under the age of four and that it is important that hospitals start preparing pediatric beds.

Phaahla warned that the current lockdown restrictions might need to be relooked.

“What we must confirm is that it spreads quicker, so we do expect the numbers to be raising. Over the last 7 days it been raising much quicker than ever before, it is affecting our health facilities and our health workers to cope with the number of patients. We must balance that also with activity to keep economy, so that people still can make income. It’s possible that it might be a need to reduce maybe numbers if gathering’s and so on. Coronavirus council will look at the report from all over the country, which we as health will provide. At this stage nothing has been decided to change the current level of restriction,” says Phaahla.

Government has called on the public to keep wearing their masks, sanitise and keep safe social distancing.

Health ministry briefs media on the national vaccination rollout program