South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has urged fellow citizens not to fear being vaccinated against Covid-19 as the country prepares to carry out mass vaccination.
Archbishop Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, pledged to be immunized once a vaccine becomes available to him.
“There is nothing to fear. Vaccination uses your body’s natural defences to build resistance to infections… they do not cause the disease or put you at risk of its complications,” he said in a statement released by the Desmond and Leah Tutu legacy Foundation.
“The more people who are vaccinated against Covid-19, the more every one of us is protected against this unpredictable and devastating disease.”
A poll conducted last year at the outbreak of the pandemic found 21% of South Africans were strongly opposed to Covid-19 vaccination.
The government has procured 1.5 million vaccine doses for January and February, with an additional 20 million doses in June.
The country has seen a surge in cases since a new variant was identified in the country in November.