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Cape minstrels get vaxxed as anti-vaxxers continue to fight

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo with Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez walk with minstrel groups to encourage vaccinations.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo with Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez walk with minstrel groups to encourage vaccinations.

Published Oct 11, 2021


Cape Town - As a few gathered in protest against the Covid-19 vaccine, several more gathered, to get vaccinated en masse over the weekend.

On Saturday, members of five different minstrel groups participated in a vaccination drive at the Lentegeur Hospital.

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Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo and Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez were in attendance.

Tafelsig resident, Peter Meyer, 68, from the Pennsylvanians, said: “This is just a drive for the people out there to take note. People are dying in hospitals that are not vaccinated.”

Meyer’s son was hospitalised for Covid-19 for two weeks. Meyer said, thankfully he had been vaccinated.

“The doctor told him if you did not have your first vaccine, you wouldn't have been here today. That just tells you how important the vaccine is. You must get vaccinated. It saves lives – the lives of your family and the whole of South Africa,” said Meyer.

Hanover Park resident and Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association member, Michael November, 66, encouraged residents to get vaccinated.

“I am fully vaccinated. I remember those years ago, we had it for the Hong Kong flu.”

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Mbombo said similar drives took place for those within the taxi industry, farmworkers, factory workers, and the homeless.

Vaccine hesitancy and a low uptake on the Covid-19 vaccine remains issues of concern.

“We are intrigued that they responded to the call. They haven’t performed for quite a while due to Covid-19.”

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Over the weekend, two men were arrested at an anti-vaxx protest in Sea Point, on the Promenade, on Saturday.

The protest, attended by about 100 people, was the fifth protest in Cape Town this year, where protesters were against mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports.

On the recent anti-vaccination protests taking place, Mbombo said it was not unique to South Africa and was taking place globally.

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“They are not necessarily anti-vaxxers, but they are against the mandatory vaccinations. Anyone has a choice to be vaccinated or not but they mustn’t stand in the way of those who choose to be vaccinated and they mustn’t share false information.”

MEC Fernandez said: “The Mitchells Plain numbers have been lower than normal and this is why we are putting out a call to our communities and we are basically taking the vaccinations to the communities to make it more accessible for people to get vaccinated, almost immediately.”

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk confirmed that two men, aged 25 and 51 were arrested during a protest, on charges of failing to wear a mask in public and in the process, contravening the Disaster Management Act.

“Both were released on a warning to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on November 17, on the mentioned charges,” said van Wyk.

Plumstead resident and protester Noleen Glasgow said: “The protest was about celebrating our immune systems. I do not believe health can be found in a needle. Vaccination injuries are covered up.”

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