Vaccination is safe, says Sama

During Sama’s visit to Mediclinic Bloemfontein were from the left: Sultana Hartzenberg (Sama Free State Branch Secretary), Dr Chantelle Van Der Bijl (Sama Honorary Secretary), Carl Bührmann (General Manager: Mediclinic Bloemfontein), Louise Zeelie (Nursing Manager: Mediclinic Bloemfontein) and Dr Franco Erasmus (Clinical Manager: Mediclinic Bloemfontein). PHOTO: CORN KOTELI

The South African Medical Association (Sama) Free State branch has been supporting the vaccination campaign as a safe and effective strategy in curbing the spread of Covid-19, and to bring an end to the pandemic through herd immunity.

Sama visited the Universitas and Pelonomi Hospitals on Wednesday 25 August, as well as Mediclinic Bloemfontein on Thursday 2 September 2021.

According to a press release by Sama, they are the biggest medical organisation in South Africa, with 9 000 doctors on their list. The organisation firmly believes that those who do not want to be vaccinated are creating an environment for the Covid-19 virus to mutate, resulting in dangerous variants.

“Sama strongly distances itself from physicians in Bloemfontein who falsely represent themselves as medical experts in the field of transmittable diseases and vaccines and who are also spreading false information on their social media platforms.”

The statement stated that the Sama Free State branch supports local transmittable diseases expert, Dr Cloete van Vuuren, the General Practitioner Special Interest Group, as well as the Specialists Group of Bloemfontein who have strongly advised that as many people as possible must be vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We respect every patient’s right to refuse the vaccination, but we urge patients to make informed decisions and to speak to doctors who are able to present all the pros and cons based on scientifically formulated data.”

The organisation strongly believes that doctors who are spreading false information about Covid-19 vaccines discourage patients from getting vaccinated, which can lead to loss of life. They also believe that the personal views and opinions must not interfere with science-based research and they remind doctors that it is a violation to purposefully spread false information about Covid-19 vaccines.

“In terms of the Disaster Management Act, anyone who spreads false information on whatever platform to mislead someone else about Covid-19, is committing a criminal act punishable by either a fine or imprisonment.”

In its statement Sama again wishes to express its gratitude to all the healthcare workers at vaccination sites who are playing their role in vaccinating as many people as possible. They also thank all the patients who have been vaccinated to date for standing together in the fight against Covid-19.

Corn Koteli