Nakedly self-serving politicians, from Cyril Ramaphosa on down, laid claim to the first vaccines rolled out in South Africa, making healthcare workers who put their lives on the line every day wait.

‘All of the Netherlands would be in an uproar if [Dutch prime minister] Mark Rutte did that,’ wrote a family member, upon hearing that president Cyril Ramaphosa chose to be among the first to receive the coronavirus vaccine in South Africa.

Although the very first vaccine was administered to Khayelitsha District Hospital nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi on Wednesday, Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize were next in line to get their shots.

‘To demonstrate our confidence in this vaccine and help allay any fears that people may have, the Minister of Health and I will join the first health care workers to receive the vaccine in Khayelitsha,’ the president said in a statement.

‘We have called on leaders in various sectors and parts of the country to lead by example and get inoculated publicly,’ the statement continued. ‘We will therefore witness some Premiers, MECs and leaders from civil society, religious formations and traditional leadership being vaccinated in all provinces.’

Not enough vaccines

It isn’t like we have enough vaccines to cover healthcare workers and politicians. We don’t.

The million AstraZeneca vaccine doses, which would have been sufficient to vaccinate less than half of South Africa’s more than a million healthcare workers, but turned out to be ineffective against the latest strain of the virus, are being dumped at half-price on the African Union. I’m sure they’re burbling with gratitude.

Instead, the government at present has only 80 000 single-dose vaccines from Johnson & Johnson available for roll out. Another 500 000 are expected to arrive in the next four weeks, which still won’t be anywhere near enough to vaccinate all medical and other clinic and hospital staff in the country.

This means frontline healthcare workers who have been risking their lives and the lives of their families every day for almost a year now, testing, triaging and treating coronavirus patients, are being elbowed out of the queue by all these self-serving public figures.

It seems almost anyone can now walk into a hospital, pull their ‘do you know who I am’ card, and jump the queue of nurses and doctors waiting to be vaccinated.

The right message

The concern that too many South Africans are reluctant to accept the vaccine, because they harbour fears about its safety, is valid. However, this does not require politicians to get vaccinated first.

All it requires is a public relations campaign showing doctors and nurses getting vaccinated. They are in any case more qualified than any politician to assess the safety of the vaccine. Would they get vaccinated themselves if they thought the vaccines were unsafe?

The pictures on TV should be of nurse Gidi-Dyosi and her colleagues, not of entitled politicians, officials, civil society leaders (whatever that means) and religious leaders (whose gatherings caused the rapid spread Covid-19 in the first place).

One consequence of the leaders-eat-first approach is that politicians, who needed a kick in the pants to even start procuring vaccines, will not suffer the consequences of their own failure to secure enough vaccines soon enough. While ordinary South Africans may have to wait until late in the year, or next year, to get their shot, the politicians who caused this state of affairs are a-okay.

The controversy is not limited to South Africa, of course. Elsewhere, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, got vaccinated early. In the US, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr Anthony Fauci, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other Congress-critters jumped the queue. So did celebrities, including Jane Fonda, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Kristal, Bill Gates, Samuel L. Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Martha Stewart.

Winde will wait

Not all politicians are so cravenly opportunistic. Western Cape premier Alan Winde and Dr Keith Cloete, head of the province’s health department, both told the media they would not take the vaccines until all front-line healthcare workers had been inoculated.

‘I’ve always said that I will take the vaccine, but I will also want to say that the person who needs the vaccine most is the front-line healthcare worker. So there is no way that I’m going to step in front to get a vaccine,’ Winde told the Sunday Times. ‘I’ll stand right next to that worker, especially when we know that in the first round there will not be sufficient vaccines to actually vaccinate our full healthcare worker front line. Absolutely, I need to be at the back of that queue.’

Likewise, Cloete told the Sunday Times: ‘Front-line healthcare workers must be the first in line. As a non-patient-facing healthcare worker in the health department I will also not be taking the vaccine unless front-line healthcare workers have all had an opportunity to take the vaccine, but we will be there to support the process.’

Doing nothing

New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu tweeted, ‘Since when is doing nothing an essential function? It’s ridiculous that Congress is cutting in line ahead of folks in Long Term Care. I’ll be the first in line to get the vaccine when it’s my turn.’

Texas senator Ted Cruz tweeted: ‘I intend to take the vaccine. But, because I’m healthy & relatively young, I’m going to wait until seniors & frontline workers have the opportunity to take it first.’

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, told the media: ‘When there’s a time for healthy people in their 40s to get their vaccine, when it’s our turn, I will be as close to the front of that line as I can get. I am super-enthusiastic about getting vaccines, and I certainly want to show people that they’re safe and that we trust our doctors. But there’s a lot of vulnerable people who need to get these vaccines much quicker than I will, and we’re going to make sure that they get it first, because that’s the priority.’

Minnesota state senator Matt Klein did get vaccinated, but on the grounds that he is a doctor who actually treats Covid-19 patients. ‘Honestly, it should be front-line people,’ Klein told the LA Times. ‘I understand that a lot of the politicians are getting it to demonstrate to the public that it’s safe, but I’m afraid it will instead generate resentment.’

Right he is. For politicians to jump the queue is deplorable. It shows great disrespect for the sacrifices of our long-suffering front-line healthcare workers. Many of them won’t get a vaccine for weeks or months to come as a direct result of the selfishness of politicians.

Ramaphosa and Mkhize should hang their heads in shame.

[Image: Government Communication Service, https://www.flickr.com/photos/governmentza/50952193293/in/album-72157718322727866/]

The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR

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Ivo Vegter
Ivo Vegter is a freelance journalist, columnist and speaker who loves debunking myths and misconceptions, and addresses topics from the perspective of individual liberty and free markets. As an independent researcher, he is the author of the recent report from the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) – South Africa’s Minibus Taxi Industry, Resistance to Formalisation and Innovation – which assesses the potential for innovation and modernisation in this vital transport sector.

62 COMMENTS

  1. The message to the general South African populace could not be clearer. “The ANC elite believes that their privileges include taking vaccine that should have been used for health care workers or other higher risk person. Otherwise known as leading from the back.
    To try to excuse this despicable behavior by claiming that an example was needed to encourage vaccine hesitant people is transparent and does nothing to hide continuing examples of bereft leadership.
    Add that the jab is paid for by taxes.
    Parasites!

    • Nothing new. The ANC is a despicable parasitic gang that believes that South Africa and everything in it belong to them.

    • Parallel to taking that ‘shot’ those politicians could declare that they simultaneously choose to forego their monthly salaries until such time that every front-line worker in the country has been inoculated. The money they forfeit will go to subsidising the purchase of those vaccines. Yes. I know. If it were not a very serious matter it would be an hilarious joke thinking that such a statement would be forthcoming from a bunch of politicians.

  2. A lot of politicians and famous people claim that they get vaccinated to prove that it is safe. On the other hand, the anti-vaxers claim that it is just a show and they are getting a saline solution or nothing. You just can’t win against the tin-foil-hat brigade.

  3. LOL. It is all for show. So many videos of people getting injections that have nothing in the syringe, no caps etc. And then Fauci couldn’t remember the next day which arm was supposed to be sore, ha ha ha! Wait for it though, when the healthcare workers start getting injected we are going to see a lot of absenteeism and if they are using the Pfizer genetic modification experiment we will see more deaths. Don’t say you were not warned.

    Oh, and isn’t it strange that when someone tests ‘positive’ for ‘SARS’ (even though the virus has not been isolated and the PCR test is being fraudulently used as it cannot diagnose an infectious disease and there are high ‘false positive’ rates) that when they die, it is the ‘virus’ that kills them, even though they have several co-morbidities but when someone takes a vaccine and dies within a few minutes, hours, days or weeks, it was not the vaccine but the co-morbidities?! It’s always the patient’s ‘fault’ when they die after a vaccine. Something was wrong with their immune system or some other made up rubbish.

    Ag, don’t bother answering Ivo. Take your experimental injection and be done with it. By now most people have made their minds up anyway. And most won’t go for this terrible injection that is unnecesary.

  4. Just a thought Ivo. If our politicians are SO caring about we the people, then why did they jump the queue? And it’s the politicians YOU are trusting to tell you the truth about the ‘virus’, the injection and the statistics?! Hrrrrmph!!

    • Nobody said they care. Nobody — least of all I — would ever suggest trusting a politician. I trust (but verify) the scientific method. I trust (but verify) doctors.

      You, on the other hand, trust nobody who doesn’t confirm your biases and prejudices. You’re immune to facts and reason. A lot of people who think they’re smarter than they really are suffer from this condition.

      • Gosh Ivo, you are so, so wrong about me. I LOVE scientific evidence and I trust unbiased evidence, science and medical professionals. I don’t go on hunches or personal experience. You and I are on the same page with regard to politicians – they can never be trusted. Hence the mess that we find ourselves in with ridiculous ‘disaster’ regulations. The only disaster is the government.

        • Then I trust you can provide evidence for your claim that public figures get injected with saline instead of with the vaccine.

          • Ivo it is no use in Afrikaans there is a saying “Dit is dwaasheid om met dwase te redeneer”

  5. By all means, Mr Vegter: please go ahead. But I insist: you first. I will wait another 10-20 years before I take an unproven “vaccination” advocated by politicians, opinion makers and other clowns.

  6. It is always good to be reminded that many in our political and “leader” class will always be looking out for themselves first. They also don’t wait in queues at Home Affairs, Traffic Departments, State Hospitals, public transport stations and send their kids to failing state schools. If they did, things would change ASAP.

  7. I am without speech. I thought Vegter has to be taking the piss and this was an ironic piece. But no. He believes this drivel, as do his followers going by the replies I read. CR (a despicable man) was illustrating to the illiterate unwashed (ie ANC voters) the safety of the jab. As for most of the others mentioned QE2 etc – They are old, numbnuts!

    • The priority list is:
      1. Healthcare workers
      2. Essential workers with high exposure risk, like teachers, police and cashiers
      3. The elderly and people with comorbidities.
      4. Everyone else.
      5. Politicians.

      • Just as a matter of interest, in my country of birth, Hungary, this is the priority list:
        1. Healthcare workers (done)
        2. People over 80 (done)
        3. People with chronic illnesses (currently being done)
        4. Police and firemen
        5. People over 60
        6. The rest
        According to the Hungarian government, they could vaccinate the entire country (10 million) in two weeks if they could get enough vaccine but the country gets only 50-100 thousand doses a week. They are also going to introduce an electronic version of vaccination passport. Some EU counties like Germany insist that people who refuse to get vaccinated should not have any disadvantage, while Greece is talking about demanding proof of vaccination from tourists.

      • Ivo, I would prefer that the priority should be:
        1] ALL POLITICIANS
        2] Then everyone who wants to “throw the dice” and willing to suffer the consequences without having any recourse due to the indemnities afforded to Big Farma;
        and then 3 to 5 years later (when the real side-effects and truths of these current quack vaccines are known or proper HCQ/Ivermectin is approved:
        3] The people that one really cares about.

    • Ivo kerm oor alles. Look on the bright side. If the vaccine can wipe a couple of these politicians out it is bloody marvelous.

  8. Major A-Holes!

    Those bastards should be the absolute last ones in the country to receive a vaccine. At least then they might get serious about actually getting the 40+ million that we need.

    Bastards!

  9. On the other hand……………. give the ‘vaccine’ to ALL the politicians and government bureaucrats. If they survive then the ‘vaccine’ is safe. If they don’t survive, then WE will be safe, ha ha ha!!

  10. I think Langenhoven said: ” Rather be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
    This applies to those who attacks the messenger and not the message!

      • Ivo, reason why I say, the “wisest of all” is due to the fact that he was married to many females so the if he wanted to do anything and had to get permission to do it, he could go down the list of his wife’s until one would allow him to do it, so that he could do it and blame it afterwards on that wife.
        Easy and wise.

    • What about the propaganda about this so called deadly virus that has a recovery rate of 97%. This is not a vaccine, it is a flue shot.

      • A case fatality rate of 3% doesn’t translate into a recovery rate of 97%. That’s a survival rate of 97% perhaps, but it conveniently neglects to mention the already known side effects from which you are likely never going to recover. So no, it’s not a flu shot. And no, it’s not a recovery rate of 97%. Is whatever Louse contracted contagious now?

    • In the context of SA, Ramaphobia didn’t do the right thing considering the government already has issues with procuring vaccines. Who is he going to coinvince? Anti-vaxxers? The pro-plague lobby will bury scores of their own children covered in patchouli and lavender essential oils and still not have the pampoenpitte to rub together long enough to cause enough of a spark to set both synapses firing.

      Ramaphobia’s action is exactly in step with the ANC’s celebrations where some members were sipping champagne, symbolically of course. Perhaps ironically symbolically of the champagne socialists that they are, but this is exactly in step with that: Rub my place at the trough in your faces, sipping your champagne, getting your vaccines, and you have to know your place and wait.

        • Yes, they drink the good stuff. I was referring to an actual case where one of the pigs at the trough drank champagne in front of the unsullied, saying they must taste the champagne through his lips. I think it was the ANC’s centenary celebrations, but I could not find the source. This situation reminded me of the same: Here, we are getting vaccinated, saving our own bacon, the rest of you piggies can squeal all you like.

  11. It really would be the solution to all our problems if there was a fatal flaw in that batch of vaccine but unfortunately I doubt we could be that lucky.

  12. What should be at issue here is that very few “ordinary” citizens seem to be making too much fuss about where they stand in the queue (clearly last after their elected leaders). I haven’t noticed anything in the media.
    Is this an African tribal thing? Or just the populace accepting that this is the way it goes. If either of these are the case, then linking this behaviour/culture to other important things impacting our lives (EWC, policies, laws, voting, etc) I’m not sure that the IRR’s opinion that the ANC could be voted out (in that their are more non voters than voters who voted ANC) holds water?

      • I meant that it appears that South Africans, the populace, in general, don’t seem to kick back against what our politicians and other elite/ruling class get up to (in juxtaposition to the “Dutch would be in uproar if their PM did this”) . We kind a just accept that this is the way it goes… (or complain online or in private – like I just did)

          • Marcell, you are right. During the 1990’s we were “educated” into various tribalities to understand their customs better and were told that the reason the man walk first into a lift (before any females) is due to the historical fact that in their customs, the ladies walk behind them and carry the “load” (whatever it may be) so that the MAN with his spear or knopkierie could kill any snakes they may encounter – Cyril just wanted to “kill the snake” (snigger) first.

          • A tribal mentality like ‘this is us over here, and that is them over there doing the tribal thing’. You are in fact demonstrating a tribal mentality too.

  13. Ivo, The Hun is absolutely correct in saying that Cyril and his cronies just got a saline shot since they would not take the risk with any of these vaccines currently touted – I really do not think that they are that stupid that they trust the junk that they so lavishly sell as their own gospel to their “beloved fellow-suffericans”.
    The current Johnson & Johnson version has the least efficacy of the lot that has been “approved/touted” by the WHO/WEF/Davos crowd.
    Do yourself a favour and have a look at https://www.stopworldcontrol.com/full and scroll down to the relevant so-called vaccines and their efficacies as well as side-effects (as well as the mask-fallacies touted).
    I am not an anti-vaxer and received all of the normal well-tested vaccines (even though I got measles and German-Measles after their vaccines) as well as one a Flu-vaccine and stlll got the flu, where-after I have not taken any Flu vaccine again and only had mild flu symptoms thereafter.
    I will calmly wait until the real cures like HCQ (with Zinc) and Ivermectin (with Zinc) is approved and queue in that line – at least I will not “light-up like a neon tube” when I walk close by to a ultra-violet light.
    ‘Nuff said.

  14. Ivo Vegter, where does your inordinate emphasis on the vaccines originate from? Surely not scientific facts, but pseudo-scientific propaganda which the likes of Dr Fauci, the WHO and all the pseudo-scientists who violate their consciences and are in cahoots with them, wish to propagate. Is it born out of fear and an irrational, mispalced reliance on a “vaccine”, that so far proved to be just a placebo for the fearful, including the politicians who have misused their positions to get the vaccine? Remember the latter must feel extremely threatened because of all the politicians who have succumbed to the virus illness. Fear is actually the more serious pandemic, and this fear is stoked by the pro-vaxxers, for they use this weapon (fear) to promote the use of these dangerous and useless vaccines to achieve their evil ends, viz. controlling populations, and ensuring big profits for the multinationals.

    Why is ivermectin given the cold shoulder in spite of its being cheap, readily available, safe and effective? because it doesn’t further the ends of the pro-vaxxers. Read this revealing article:
    https://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2021/02/19/ivermectin-sceptics

    Try in future to place the emphasis on where it really matters. You would really achieve something with your articles if you concentrated on something that really provides hope for the pandemic. Have you really given some thought to the utter futility of basing hopes on a vaccines that have to be “tweaked” all the time to try to keep abreast with the virus’ numerous mutations? Do we have to go through this exercise of trying to immunise 40 – 60 million people in this country every couple of months? yes, that is the goal of the WHO among others, who want to immunize entire populations. Have you considered the costs which are unaffordable to this country currently? Have you considered the logistics involved to immunize thousands of people every day? At the expense of other severe illnesses like TB, HIV, diabetes, to name a few comorbidities, from which hundreds of people die daily? Vaccination programmes (the efficacy of which become more doubtful by the day as the viruses have increasingly become resistant against these vaccines). With bacteria becoming resistant against antibiotics, all the deaths we have now from virus pandemics will in the foreseeable future look like a picnic in comparison.

    It really appears more and more that you and your fellow pro-vaxxers are out on a wild goose chase. Time will prove whether I have been right or wrong about my assessment.

    • Time has already proved you wrong. Ivermectiin is for animals, you should not take it for the same reason that you should not use dog shampoo or Bob Martins instead of fairly smooth ape medicine. I’m willing to bet that those barking up the Ivermectin tree have no scientific credentials behind their names, otherwise they would understand that what amounts to lots of animal trials is not enough to ensure the safety or efficacy of any treatment in humans. You need human trials for that. You need specific human trials to cast a verdict on whether any treatment, like Ivermectin, will be safe and efficient for treating Covid in humans. While it is hopeful, and it certainly should be investigated, on the other hand, nobody said ‘let’s just vaccinate and forget about all the other options’. Everyone focused on a vaccine because it is preventative. Ivermectin is not preventative, it is a treatment if you already have Covid. Ivermectin has many known side effects. Ivermectin dosages that are rated as effective in humans are possibly dangerous. Did you get your Ivermectin information from a website that also sells no-happy-ending massages and vitamin tablets, per chance?

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