A 14-year-old student at Tina Falls Primary School in Coombe in the Eastern Cape is facing possible amputation of her arm after she allegedly received a vaccination against COVID-19. Yamkela Seplan contracted an infection and developed a huge lump on her shoulder.

The lump on the shoulder has been swollen since last year. The young girl has since dropped out of school because of her condition. Doctors suggested a possible amputation of the girl’s hand.

She is a young girl who dreams of becoming a social worker. A vaccine against COVID-19 is believed to have threatened this young girl’s dreams. Like, she was forced to get vaccinated, otherwise she wouldn’t have been enrolled as a student.

After the injection, she developed a lump, which forced her to leave school. She was referred to Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital and then to Bedford Orthopedic Hospital.

“On the day of vaccination, we were ordered to go and bring our parents. I went out and called my mother, but she refused to come and sign for me to be vaccinated. After we were threatened that those who were not vaccinated would not go to school, I then got vaccinated. I had a small lump after my vaccination last February and it got worse in December. I had to drop out of school,” says Yamkela Seplan.

The family accuses Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital of negligence.

“We went to the hospital and were told to come back because it was Good Friday. There are no doctors to check her. So we have to go home. We returned to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital but were referred to the Bedford Orthopedic Clinic. It is surprising that the doctors at Mandela Academic did not write a report. We were told that the child’s health was not checked. We were disappointed because it should have been detected early if the underlying cause was after she was injected in the ward,” says her mother, Nombuekezo Seplan.

A human rights group is demanding justice for the young girl.

“Somebody has to take responsibility and it’s our duty as children’s rights advocates to prove that it wasn’t vaccination that got the problem we’re facing right now. And so we’re going to need a different opinion from outside the department, and that’s certainly something that we have to follow, and we can assure the people of South Africa that we’re not going to just leave it at that. We will keep pushing until we get justice for this little girl,” says Petros Maiola, Hula’s Director of Community Development.

The provincial health department says the case is getting the urgency it deserves.

“The child received treatment from a multidisciplinary team consisting of specialist doctors and social workers from the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital and Bedford Hospital in Mtata. Samples were taken for further analysis to determine the cause of the inflammation. The child has since been referred to Frere Hospital. The results will be communicated to the family and the department is treating the matter with the urgency it deserves,” says spokesperson Yonela Dekeda.

Of great concern was the indecisiveness of children about the vaccine. This is caused by a number of factors including religious and traditional beliefs. Prevention measures for COVID-19 are still seen as a solution to control the spread. Public activists want the government to guarantee the safety of children before and after any form of vaccination.

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