In the last week, New Era reported on two sets of professionals who have shown a worrying level of vaccine hesitancy.
Both teachers and journalists stand at the forefront of the fight to regain some semblance of a normal life, but last week it was revealed that only 40 out of 440 teachers in the Oshikoto region were vaccinated. This week, we reported that while an overwhelming majority of journalists had convinced people in their public or personal lives to get vaccinated, the majority have not been vaccinated.
We can blame the government for struggling to acquire the vaccines, only having two types available, having run out and not having an effective marketing strategy from the beginning as well as for not having enough vaccination points available.
However, now that we have it available, it is irresponsible and hypocritical to let expensive vaccines go to waste because someone with no knowledge of how vaccines work said it is not safe. It is unforgivable to accept the mad ramblings of conspiracy theorists over the scientific advice of doctors. Professionals should not be forced to take the vaccine, but they should, however, have been at the forefront of the campaign to get everyone jabbed.
One of the biggest teachers’ unions complained that the ministry did not consult them, and would therefore not encourage their members to get inoculated. They effectively washed their hands off the situation. It is disappointing that the union would mortgage the wellbeing of the entire country to score cheap political points.
Out of the 92.5% of journalists who have persuaded people to get vaccinated, 60% did not get the jab themselves. Of the respondents, 47% say health conditions prevent them from taking the vaccine, while 43% do not trust the vaccine, and 21% say they have not had time.
The widely held view (77%) of the journalists was that access or service may not be denied for the unvaccinated. There is talk of offering incentives for those who are fully vaccinated. It can be done, but why should professionals be incentivised to do the right thing? Should we not instead hold the unvaccinated accountable for the restrictions on our movement, the continued curfew, the fact that tourists have not returned and for students who have to struggle through online classes, which, they say, is not effective?
Professionals like journalists and teachers should know that the biggest incentive would be the return to normalcy when everyone has a chance to work and provide for their families. Professionals should know the difference between the increasingly crazy conspiracies and the greater good for communities that vaccines have provided for decades. If your neighbour’s house is burning, what do you do? Swallowing whole American right-wing talking points in the name of so-called independent thinking is herd mentality at its best.
You’re not thinking if you repeat verbatim what some dude who’s been influenced by Fox News conjured up. You are indeed a sheep if you would take Ivermectin instead of the vaccine. Vaccines aren’t new to us. We all had jabs against measles, polio and mumps.
The problem is that the vaccine hesitancy has been fuelled by Covid sceptics who have had free reign in spreading their wild stories with no one being prosecuted for spreading falsehoods.