SOUTH AFRICA: Bishops Dispel Fears Surrounding Covid-19 Vaccine

By Rahab Kuria

JOHANNESBURG, JUNE 8, 2021(CISA) – The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has assured of the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine, encouraging people to take it at the earliest opportunity.

“Different trusted South African scientists have severally assured us, the research was done faster with large numbers of people ensuring safety and efficacy measurements were not compromised,” the bishops said in a June 4 statement signed by Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, president of SACBC.

Lamenting that some people have expressed safety and ethical concerns around the Covid-19 vaccines, the bishops observed that the concerns have caused a number of people to refuse or express a reluctance to accept the vaccine.

“… the trials were totally ethically and scientifically sound and the licensing completely thorough. The speed of development is really a reflection of the level of scientific advancement that we are now at rather than that it was in any way recklessly rushed through,” the prelates noted.

The bishops refuted claims that the Covid-19 vaccine is a ploy by the rich industrialized nations of the West to reduce the global population through the elimination of the black race.

“This theory is baseless. In fact, vaccines are not new. Vaccines have been a reality for all of us from birth, including vaccines against polio, measles and many others,” they said.

Further dispelling the fear that the vaccine will change people’s DNA, the bishops said, “The Covid-19 Vaccine is not made of DNA elements and therefore cannot change our genetic code.”

On the side-effects of Covid-19 vaccinations including clotting and death in some cases, the prelates acknowledged that some people have indeed reacted to the jab, with some experiencing pain, swelling, fatigue, headaches, fever, muscle and joint pain. They noted that just like with other medications, side effects eventually go away.

“A few cases of blood clotting have also been reported and even fewer(less than one percent) have died after taking the vaccine, but there is no conclusive evidence that less than one percent of vaccinated people have died from the vaccine, so it is a safe risk to take the vaccine,” the prelates said asking people to take encouragement from the fact that Pope Francis and other religious leaders have already been vaccinated.