WATCH | Spoofs on Covid-19 vaccine 'effects' spark viral social media trend

19 January 2021 - 14:00
Social media and messaging apps have been filled with 'warnings' about the Covid-19 vaccines and false information about possible effects.
Social media and messaging apps have been filled with 'warnings' about the Covid-19 vaccines and false information about possible effects.
Image: 123RF/Luis Carceller

Conspiracy theories around the Covid-19 vaccines have sparked a global viral social media trend joking about the “effects” of the vaccines.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that SA has secured 20 million doses of the vaccine which will be delivered during the first half of the year.  The health ministry said on Monday the country would also get nine million doses from Johnson & Johnson.

However, social media and messaging apps have been filled with “warnings” about the vaccines and false information about possible effects.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala earlier this month slammed Covid-19 conspiracy theorists, saying: “Some have sought to cast aspersions on the vaccine for Covid-19, and have discouraged people from taking the vaccine when it becomes available. We are pleading with those people to stop spreading fake news and malicious misinformation.”

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The government’s Covid-19 portal also noted the “growing tide of anti-vaccine sentiment among SA’s populace” and said “rather than scrutiny and distrust, the speedy development and approval of vaccines for Covid-19 should be met with celebration”.

“Covid-19 vaccines go through a rigorous, multi-stage testing process, including large trials that involve tens of thousands of people. These trials, which include people at high risk for Covid-19, are specifically designed to identify any common side-effects or other safety concerns,” it said.

“Once a clinical trial shows a Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective, a series of independent reviews of the efficacy and safety evidence is required, including regulatory review and approval in the country where the vaccine is manufactured or distributed.”

Mocking the fear mongering online, TikTok users have shared videos of themselves pranking family members and developing strange symptoms “after getting the Covid-19 vaccine”. These include everything from  twitching to howling like a wolf.

Check out some of the videos:


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