Covid-19 vaccine being prepared. Senior citizens at the Bonteheuwel Apricot Place Old Age home receive their Covid-19 vaccinations. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)
Covid-19 vaccine being prepared. Senior citizens at the Bonteheuwel Apricot Place Old Age home receive their Covid-19 vaccinations. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

There must be better ways of promoting vaccinations than emphasising the needle

By David Biggs Time of article published Aug 30, 2021

Share this article:

In the past couple of months I must have seen at least a thousand close-up screen shots of bared shoulders being pierced by long injection needles.

Every time Covid-19 is mentioned in a news bulletin (and that’s several times every day) we are shown yet another needle sliding into another shoulder. This is apparently the government’s way of encouraging people to get vaccinated.

I find this rather an odd way of attracting customers. The message they’re spreading says: “If you come to the clinic we will stick a long needle into your shoulder.” People — and men in particular — are cowards when it comes to facing pain.

If you’re given a choice of staying home and weeding the garden, or going to a pharmacy and having a needle stuck into you shoulder, you’ll probably opt for the weeding and promise yourself you’ll go for your vaccination once the weeds are plucked (unless it’s raining.)

There must be better ways of promoting vaccination. Rather than emphasising the needle, why not highlight the joy of being able to hug your wife and kids safely, without fear of contaminating them.

Talk about the delight of going into shopping malls and offices without fear of being breathed on by toxic humans. “Vaccine makes you nice to be near.”

When insurance companies advertise funeral cover they don’t offer endless close-up shots of dead people lying in coffins. They concentrate on the joy of a happy retirement, free from financial worries. And all this blah about freedom of choice is just a cover-up for cowardice. Your human rights? My foot, Boet! You’re just ‘poep-scared’ of that needle.

I got my driver’s licence many years ago (before most of you were even born) and nobody wore seat belts in those days, apart from pilots and racing drivers. Today we calmly accept seat belts as an everyday part of motoring, like indicator lights and spare wheels. We can even be fined if we’re caught driving without a seat belt.

I see no problem with making the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory, just as I accepted compulsory seatbelts.

Last Laugh

Times are really tough for Cape Town businessmen during this coronavirus pandemic.

A shopkeeper met a friend in the street last week and said: “Hey, Fred, I was terribly sorry to hear about the fire you had in your factory.”

“Ssh,” said Fred, looking around anxiously, “the fire’s only next week.”

* "Tavern of the Seas" is a column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

Do you have something on your mind; or want to comment on the big stories of the day? We would love to hear from you. Please send your letters to [email protected]

Share this article: