Vaccination selfies, the latest social media trend
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CAPE TOWN - Possibly the biggest social media trend of 2021, vaccine selfies as they are called, have taken over social media since the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out started in the country last week.
Social media has been buzzing with health-care workers sharing photos, particularly selfies of them getting the Covid-19 vaccine jab in the hopes of encouraging others to get vaccinated too.
“I never knew that getting the vaccine in front of my staff would motivate them so much,” said Fridah Nyathi, chief executive of Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mpumalanga.
While vaccine selfies send out a strong message that the vaccines are safe, they also have the power to drive conversation relating to vaccination; and then some, in the case of the image of Eastern Cape doctor, Dr Adam Woodford, being vaccinated with his shirt off, which has gone viral on social media.
Woodford, who was previously infected with Covid-19, spoke about the experience to GCIS and said he was glad he could get the vaccine and do his part in helping to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking about the pictures of him getting the vaccine, he joked: “Vaccine done and dusted … So far side effects include involuntary flexing for the camera and unwanted gains.”
For politicians this social media trend can help create a dialogue with those who question the safety of the vaccine. President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have also posted their vaccine selfies.
“Taking the vaccine was quick, easy and not so painful. I urge all our health-care workers to register to receive their vaccinations as they are our first line of defence against the coronavirus pandemic,” Ramaphosa captioned his vaccine selfie.
Taking the vaccine was quick, easy and not so painful. I urge all our healthcare workers to register to receive their vaccinations as they are our first line of defence against the coronavirus pandemic. #WeChooseVacciNation #VaccineforSouthAfrica 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/11tyl1f9Xs— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 17, 2021
According to Professor Graeme Meintjes of UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, seeing front-line health-care workers, the president and the minister of health getting the vaccine will go a long way to reassure people who are ambivalent about vaccination to get themselves vaccinated when they are eligible.
Less than a week after the country launched its vaccination programme against Covid-19, more than 10 000 health-care workers in SA have been vaccinated. The health ministry said that through the Sisonke early access programme, one-third of the first 80 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines would be allocated to the private sector over the next 14 days.