Agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza has called on the “TikTok brigade” to embrace the opportunity to get the Covid-19 jab. This, as hundreds of thousands of young adults flocked to centres across Mzansi after they too became eligible for vaccination today.
There is a promising improvement in the country’s vaccination programme with over 10% of the population having been vaccinated already, said Didiza.
To date, over ten million vaccines have already been administered. All adults in South Africa are now eligible to get vaccinated.
Health minister Dr Joe Phaahla said by opening up vaccinations for the those aged 18 to 34, a further 17 million people can now be reached. This is the generation that Didiza described as the “TikTok brigade”, named after the social network for user-generated videos that is popular among young adults.
Didiza called on the agricultural and agro-processesing sectors to ensure that they vaccinate in their numbers. She described the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as part of government’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan.
“I wish to call on all role players in the agricultural and agro-prossessing sectors to ensure that they are vaccinated because that will go a long way in ensuring continued food production in the country,” she said.
Boosting economic activity
Increasing the number of vaccinated South Africans, will “improve chances of ensuring that economic activity and livelihoods in the country continue with minimal interruption,” added the minister.
“This sector is important in terms of jobs. It has consistently maintained more than 750 000 jobs over the medium term. Based on its potential for economic growth and job creation, it has been identified as one of the key economic sectors to drive the economic recovery in the country. That is why all of us in the sector need to be fully vaccinated, so that we continue to play our important role.”
Addressing the Covid-19 fake news and misinformation currently hindering the vaccine roll-out, Didiza said scientific evidence confirmed that vaccinated people stood a better chance of surviving from Covid-19 than unvaccinated people.
“Therefore, we must all dispel the unfounded and misleading conspiracy theories about the vaccines and choose life by vaccinating. I encourage all unvaccinated people, especially in our sector, to get vaccinated because vaccines protect us from getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and it saves lives.”
The minister thanked those in the agricultural sector who have already collaborated with public and private health care practitioners to conduct Covid-19 vaccinations on farms and in pack houses across South Africa.