Mkhize laughs off suggestions chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng 'prayed' the AstraZeneca vaccine away

11 February 2021 - 09:15
Health minister Zweli Mkhize say the AstraZeneca vaccine is not from the devil.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize say the AstraZeneca vaccine is not from the devil.
Image: SOWETAN

Health minister Zweli Mkhize has laughed off suggestions that chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng managed to “pray away” the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying the vaccine was not from the devil.

Last year, Mogoeng turned heads when he prayed against vaccines containing “666" and “vaccines of the devil”.

He said his prayer was meant for “every well-meaning Christian” to pray to God to destroy any vaccine that would negatively affect the lives of people.

“That vaccine must never see the light of day. You can’t say we must, as Christians, just fold our arms and say ‘whatever people come with is fine'. No. We can’t,” he said at the time.

Speaking during a media briefing on Wednesday, Mkhize said none of the vaccines came from the devil.

The AstraZeneca vaccine rollout was halted on Sunday after it was found to not be particularly effective against mild to moderate disease caused by the dominant Covid-19 variant, 501Y.V2 or B. 1.351.

The batch of 1 million vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII) arrived in SA last week and  is set to expire in April.

“I did listen to Justice Mogoeng talking about the vaccine from the devil. I must say that I think in a particular language you can say so, but as far as I am concerned none of these vaccines are coming from the devil,” said Mkhize.

“I didn’t hear him call AstraZeneca as such, but I also believe that we serve one God and all of us as people, whether we’re in London or SA or anywhere, there wouldn’t be a difference in the way that God would look at us.

“Therefore I wouldn’t expect that God would actually act on a vaccine in SA while this vaccine is doing well in London, India, Europe and everywhere else.”

Mkhize said Mogoeng's prayer was “a religious expression” and assured the public that there is nothing dangerous about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said religious leaders were going to take the vaccine because they have no qualms about it.

“We shouldn’t mix the two issues as such. It was more of a religious expression to assure people that they would be protected and protection would come from God.

“AstraZeneca has not shown to be dangerous. It’s not dangerous. The issue is its efficacy against the new variant,” Mkhize said.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW | SA's Covid-19 phase 1 vaccine rollout to start next week with J&J shots

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