Several South African celebrities have joined forces to combat Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy by using their social media channels to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Over the next few months, stars including captain of Bafana Bafana Thulani Hlatshwayo, Springbok rugby player Faf de Klerk, comedian Riaad Moosa, and actress Pearl Thusi will be using their platforms to help dispel common misconceptions around the vaccine.
Hlatshwayo was chosen to be a Viral Facts #BeASaver ambassador for the vaccine rollout in the country.
He said his ambassador platform has given him an opportunity to spread accurate information about the vaccine.
“There is a view that if you take the vaccine you can die. And if you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t need to be vaccinated. But what we need to realise is that by taking the shot, it will help speed up the process of getting us back to normality. The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we will get our lives back,” said Hlatshwayo.
Moosa, who is also a qualified medical doctor, says that there is a deluge of fake news online which people are sharing, but which is not factual.
“As a medical doctor, I understand that some of the facts may be technical and hard to understand and that it’s easier to share the drama about the vaccine online. There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there,” he said.
Moosa and his family all contracted Covid-19 towards the end of last year and they also experienced the loss of some family members.
Thusi, star of hit series, Queen Sono, says that while she was initially hesitant about the Covid-19 vaccine, after consulting those in the medical profession she “has seen the light and has taken the step forward for myself, my family, and country.”
Scrum-half for the Springbok Rugby World Cup winning squad, De Klerk, says playing in empty stadiums with no spectators has become a lonely place and he believes the vaccine is the right route to take to get life back to normal.
“I want to encourage young players to continue to love the game. The sooner that they get vaccinated, the better for us all as we can get back on the field for our fans,” he said.