Feb 2023 2nd edition

SA authorises roll out of COVID-19 boosters

The Department of Health says additional COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are now available for eligible citizens at all active vaccination sites across the country.

“This is in line with the announcement by Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, earlier this month that government has been inundated with requests from fully vaccinated members of the public, especially the most vulnerable groups, seeking to maintain and enhance their protection against current and evolving COVID-19 variants,” the department said in a statement on Monday.

This means all adults aged 50 years and older are eligible for five vaccine doses, while those aged between 18 and 49 will be entitled to receive another jab to make four doses of either the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) or Pfizer vaccine.

The waiting period between the last dose and this additional dose should be at least 180 days or six months.

All adults aged 18 and older who are registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) as being immunocompromised will also be eligible to receive an additional booster dose 180 days after their last dose.

Meanwhile, the vaccination schedule for adolescents between 12 and 17 years remains unchanged, which means this age group remains eligible to receive two doses.

According to the department, the EVDS has been updated to accommodate these changes and vaccinators have been informed accordingly.

“The department has integrated COVID-19 vaccination services into primary health services, and efforts are being made, working with provinces to update the lists of vaccination sites on an ongoing basis and make these accessible to the public.”

The department believes that vaccination remains the most effective weapon against the pandemic, especially as new variants and sub-variants are detected in various parts of the world.

Those who experience known COVID-19 symptoms such as flu-like symptoms including body aches, tiredness, loss of appetite or taste loss are encouraged to visit a health facility. – SAnews.gov.za

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