Some teachers are turning down vaccinated due to religious and traditional beliefs
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Cape Town - As the vaccination drive for teachers nears its end, a fraction of teachers have reportedly declined to take the jab citing religious and traditional reasons.
The Western Cape Education Department worked on a consent basis, therefore staff who consented were scheduled to take the vaccine.
Although vaccines are not treatment for Covid-19 and do not prevent infections, they increase the chance of survival should a person be infected.
Speaking anonymously to the Weekend Argus, a Cape Town teacher said she has never used a needle in her 51 years of existence and would not start now.
“I have never taken a pill, if I have a headache I pray and drink a glass of water.
“This of course goes hand-in-hand with the healthy lifestyle that I lead.
“I do not consume processed food and if I did not plant it I do not eat it.”
The mother of two said her whole family is healthy and will not take an injection that might compromise their lifestyle.
“Many will think I am crazy but this is how we live.
“I am not against people taking the jab, this is my personal choice and it should be respected.
“I am not a conspiracy theorist who believes that vaccines are bad or anything, but I will not take it.”
Asked if she ever received a polio vaccine as a child, the teacher said: “My parents might have taken me for such vaccine, I was a baby and had no say but when I came to adulthood, I lived this life with my family.
“My children have never been vaccinated, there are traditional ways to live.”
There have been videos shared online that show people who were vaccinated attracting magnetic objects.
The videos show that if a vaccinated person puts a coin or metal next to where they had their injection, the coin will be attracted or pulled.
Department of Health spokersperson, Mark van der Heever said: “Fake news is considered a criminal act during the state of disaster. The spread of fake information is irresponsible and illegal. We encourage all residents to familiarise themselves with true and accurate information around the vaccine. The vaccines are safe and have been tested worldwide. They do not contain metals or microchips that make recipients magnetic at the site of injection.”
Traditional healer Sandile Hlophe said there are people who live healthy lives without ever going to the hospital.
“Those people usually have never had any serious health challenge like their leg broken and need medical assistance.
“I too have never been to a hospital, I have traditional medicine but that is because I have never got an illness that my medicine could not heal.
“As healers, we encourage people to take care of their health and attend hospitals when they have to.”
SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Jonovon Rustin said although there has been no official record, there are reports of teachers who declined to take the jab.
“They just say it is personal reasons and leave it there.
“Remember the vaccination is voluntary, we had a webinar with a scientist to try and explain to teachers more about the vaccines.
“Teachers are also educated, they should be able to analyse information.
“It would be interesting to hear which verse in the Bible is against the vaccine.”
WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the WCED has yet to collate how many staff members in the sector did not take up the offer (of getting vaccinated).
“Because we worked on a consensus basis, we looked at the figures received, which meet the required targets.
“That is, we asked schools to submit names of staff (members who) consented to taking the vaccine and have scheduled them accordingly.
“Once the process is over, we will have to work with (the Department of) Health to determine the numbers of those that have not been vaccinated in this process, as these figures would also include those that have been vaccinated through the “over 60” drive.
“This category would not have consented, given that they received the vaccine (Pfizer) already.”