Cyril Ramaphosa covid vaccines

President Cyril Ramaphosa draped in a South African scarf – Photo: GCIS

Ramaphosa hails vaccines, as president still only has ‘mild COVID symptoms’

Our COVID vaccines have one main job, and that’s to prevent most of us from getting seriously ill – as Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted on Monday.

Cyril Ramaphosa covid vaccines

President Cyril Ramaphosa draped in a South African scarf – Photo: GCIS

It’s a point that Cyril Ramaphosa needs to hammer home again and again: Vaccines, although they do lower the risk of transmission, do not primarily serve to prevent COVID-19 infections. Their key role is to prevent individuals from ending up either seriously ill, in a hospital bed, or on their deathbed.

Vaccines thanked for ‘protecting president’ from serious illness

The president tested positive for the virus on Sunday, reporting only mild symptoms at the time. Almost 24 hours after his initial diagnosis, an update was published by his office – confirming that his condition is still easily managed:

“President Cyril Ramaphosa appreciates the well wishes he is receiving from various quarters following his COVID-19 positive result. The President remains in good spirits and continues to present with mild symptoms.”

“The President’s infection is causing him to delay a vaccine booster shot which he was scheduled to receive this week. Ramaphosa further reiterates his call to everyone in the country to be vaccinated, as vaccination dramatically reduces the chances of serious illness, hospitalisation, or death.”

Presidency statement

Was Cyril Ramaphosa fully vaccinated?

Sadly, and perhaps inevitably, our double-jabbed president coming down with COVID-19 was always going to put R5 in the anti-vaccine crowd. Many have used this opportunity to claim that vaccines ‘do not work’, as they cannot prevent fully vaccinated individuals from catching the disease.

This, however, remains a misstep. The impact of vaccines on hospitalisation and death rates across the world speak for themselves. If COVID is to become an endemic disease, it’s likely that almost everyone on the planet will catch it at some point. The goal is to protect ourselves against the worst effects – and that’s exactly what these jabs do.

Ramaphosa postpones booster vaccine after COVID diagnosis

Ramaphosa, however, will have to delay his booster vaccine for a month now. Once an individual has come down with COVID-19, they have to wait at least four weeks after a positive test before getting another shot. That means Cyril will only get his third shot in mid-January, given that he was scheduled for his appointment this week.