The Western Cape department of education has expressed concern after video shows primary school pupils being confronted by anti-vax protesters outside a school.
The video that surfaced on Whatsapp and Facebook on Tuesday, caused an outburst on social media because pupils can got the vaccine without the consent of their parents.
In the beginning of the video you can see pupils being escorted off from the school grounds by teachers. In the background protesters are heard encouraging pupils not to take the vaccine.
A protester can be heard warning pupils that they are going to be killed by the vaccine because its a poison and to tell their teachers they don’t want the vaccine.
A voice on the video says that this incident occurred at “Stephen Road primary, Lotus River, Cape Town South Africa.
“These are the children from the school they are marching out to a venue to get a shot.
“These children have been told, the form says they do not have to have their parents consent.”
In the post’s heading parents are urged to fetch their children at school.
The video spread like wildfire.
Weekend Argus contacted the Western Cape Education Department to find out what exactly happened at the school.
Kerry Mauchline, a spokesperson for the Western Cape education department minister Debbie Schäfer explained that the national Department of Health announced that vaccinations would commence for young people aged 12 to 17 years old with the Pfizer vaccine in line with the recommendations from the Vaccine Ministerial Advisory Committee (VMAC).
“A school nurse approached the school to assist with arranging vaccinations for learners at a vaccination site.
“Parents were informed of the national announcement and of the opportunity for their children to be vaccinated, 49 learners returned consent forms signed by their parents. The learners were accompanied to the vaccination site by the walking bus staff and student assistants.”
Mauchline said but the protest resulted in none of the pupils getting vaccinated.
“At the site, the group of anti-vaccination protesters swore at the learners and physically threatened them. The principal made the decision that the learners would return to the school, and they were not able to get their vaccinations. This is extremely sad given that they have a lawful right to get vaccinated.”
Mauchline added that they condemned the incident that occurred outside the school.
“We condemn the behaviour of these protesters. They have no right to make decisions for other people’s children, and harassing and threatening children is simply unacceptable. Their language and comments towards the learners are shameful.”
In a follow up video released on social media on Wednesday, Ferlon Christians, from the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), said that they went out to the school to investigate whether the allegations were true.
Christians confirmed that after talks with the principle he found that no child was forced to take the vaccination.
“The fact is the ACDP and school are on one page; children should not be vaccinated against the will of the parents.
“Everyone is on the same page, all these learners' futures are important, the school is in good hands.”