The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla has announced that from Wednesday 20 October, children between the ages of 12-17 years old will be able to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

South Africa’s vaccination programme started in February with the Sisonke study which saw healthcare workers receive the Covid-19 vaccine first, then slowly other age groups were allowed to get their jab, culminating in any over 12 years old now being eligible for the jab.

There are a few useful things to remember:

  • There are 6 million children aged between 12 and 17 years old in South Africa
  • 12-17-year-olds will only receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine
  • According to the Child Act, children 12 years and older are able to make health care decisions without the consent of their parents, guardian or caregiver.
  • Teenagers will be able to access public and private vaccination sites.
  • The Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) will be updated before 20 October to allow for teenagers to register for the Covid-19 vaccine and also report any possible side effects.
  • No one can be intimidated when it comes to choosing to be vaccinated, it is a voluntary health care programme – similarly, no one can be stopped from gaining access to health care.

Phaahla said that they have taken every precaution before authorising this cohort to get their jab. He made reference to international research which showed it was far safer for over 12’s to only receive one jab of the Pfizer vaccine. “We can assure parents and young people that even where [cases of myocarditis] have been noticed, there has been no permanent risk. We’re just taking precaution in this case,” said Joe Phaahla.

America, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, China and India are already successfully vaccinated teenagers 12 years and older.

 

The Western Cape Department of Health says national Government is considering to, in future, also vaccinate children, aged 12 to 17, against Covid-19.

The province’s Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete says the move would help curb the continued spread of the virus.

Cloete said the more South Africans that are vaccinated, the less severe the next wave of the pandemic would be.

He says they are also considering giving people over 50, with underlying health-conditions, and health workers a booster-dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Access the Western Cape’s latest Covid-19 digicon here.

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