If we fail to halt discrimination now it will work its way through to younger age groups. Of course, there are costs, relatively small, involved with public education, moving away from monolingualism, and getting vaccines to the people or people to the vaccines. But, these are funds that would have to be found at some point if we are to reach anything close to ‘herd immunity’.
The authors are at the University of Johannesburg. Kate Alexander holds the South African Research Chair in Social Change and Bongani Xezwi is a Researcher with the Centre for Social Change.
On 26 June, acting minister of health, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, expressed concern that “demand [for vaccination] from the 60+ age group is reducing exponentially.” She added: “we understand that this manifestation is a combination of high vaccine hesitancy in this group and difficulty accessing the technology to register, as well as the vaccination centres.”
At present, there is a huge disparity in levels of vaccination among poorer people and the middle classes, and we demonstrate that in order to raise the overall level of vaccination we must address this inequality. The challenge is principally one of delivery by the government rather than demand from…