News & events


06 July 2021

Vulnerable but overlooked: The Covid-19 vaccine plight of people with disabilities in South Africa

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

By Tim Hart, Narnia Bohler-Muller and Therina Wentzel

5 July 2021

At least 12%, and possibly as much as 20%, of South Africa’s population experience activity limitations. Limitations include a spectrum of disabilities such as complete or partial immobility, restricted communication, sensory deprivation and psychosocial and neurological complications. And yet there is as yet no urgency to roll out vaccinations to them.

The topic of coronavirus vaccines is dominating almost every conversation at the moment. Anti-vaxxers and Covid-19 denialists have been disputing basic vaccine science, disseminating damaging fake information on social media platforms. Others, among them healthy older people who qualify for immediate access, are postponing vaccination to “wait and see”, stating they are “undecided”.

Those living with disabilities and serious underlying conditions do not have such luxury of choice, and for many it is much more of a life-and-death matter.

Read the article on the Daily Maverick website:

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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