Today I want to speak to the young people of South Africa. Young people are flocking to get the Covid-19 vaccine. This fills me with great pride. More than half a million South Africans signed up the day 18 and over registration opened.
The youth of our country are giving us all the hope that we have the end of this difficult time in our sights.
As I watched young people being interviewed while queuing at vaccination centers, I was impressed by their enthusiasm and enthusiasm. Above all, I was impressed by his knowledge about the vaccine, how it can protect and why it is necessary.
I heard young men and women talk about the need to protect people at risk in their communities. I read an online post by a young woman urging those who follow her on social media to pay attention to the early days of the HIV / AIDS pandemic, when young people died unnecessarily because they believed false stories later circulated that the drugs antiretrovirals were deadly. , or because they neglected the advice to practice safe sex.
The maturity that young people have brought to the important task of vaccinating as many South Africans as possible recalls the words of Frantz Fanon, that it is for each generation to discover their mission and fulfill it.
In 1994, millions of South Africans lined up to fulfill the liberation mission. Many young people formed those long lines to cast their vote for the first time.
Today it is the turn of the new generation of young people.
The youth of today are being asked to step up and be at the forefront at this defining moment in the life of our nation.
Last week we passed the milestone of delivering 10 million doses of vaccines. Almost 5 million people are fully vaccinated, which means they have received one dose of the J&J vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. But we still have a long way to go.
This is where young people come in. We ask you to go out and get vaccinated so that we can achieve our goal.
I was not surprised to see young people undertake this task with such determination. Since the pandemic broke out 17 months ago, young South Africans have been an integral part of the national effort to combat the coronavirus.
We have seen young people step forward to keep themselves and others safe. We have seen
youth formations and community organizations, youth leaders, influencers and content creators who use their platforms to share public health messages with their peers.
Young people have been brave and frank when they have seen friends or popular personalities violating regulations at parties, rhythms and gatherings. They have been called.
We have seen how young people have been helping with the national vaccination campaign, even when they were not yet eligible.
We are proud of the young volunteers in our communities, such as those from #GrandkidsforGogos who assisted the elderly with immunization registration at social grant payment points. A young volunteer was asked what motivated her and she said, “I am where I am because of the elderly.”
I often hear such powerful words from young people. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, they remain optimistic and want to be at the service of our country. By getting vaccinated, they not only protect themselves, but also those around them.
There is still a lot of cloudy content circulating about the vaccine. These conspiracy theories are implausible and, once again, I ask young people not to circulate them.
These messages are harmful and make people hesitate to get vaccinated. This is harmful not only to the young, but to many others, including those at risk who really need the vaccine.
Young people are digital natives. They are more tech-savvy than any generation before them. It is important that they help spread the correct information about vaccines provided by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization.
We would like young people to become traveling advertisements for the vaccination process. We call on young people to post pictures of themselves being vaccinated.
These vaccines are safe. They work. They do not affect anyone’s performance in any way. Most importantly, they save lives.
Young people have always been the engines of progress, innovation and change.
He is determined to build a brighter and better future. We must get out of this health crisis in order to recover and rebuild.
I want to say hello to those who have received your jab.
I also want to thank all the youth organizations, leaders and influencers for their efforts to encourage young people to get vaccinated, and I ask that they continue this work.
Your time is now. Go get your jab. This is your mission and your chance to fulfill it.