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Covid booster shots will start rolling out this week – here’s who can get them


The Department of Health has announced that Covid-19 booster doses will start rolling out from this Friday (24 December 2021).

The regulator, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approved the use of Pfizer vaccine as a booster of the primary Pfizer vaccine two-dose series some time ago.

This approval is for the vaccination of people six months after the administration of the second dose – or in the case of immunocompromised people who receive an additional primary dose, after their third dose.

SAHPRA has also approved the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine for boosters of the single-dose primary J&J schedule at least 2 months after primary vaccination.

From 24 December 2021, the National Vaccination Programme will provide J&J booster vaccinations to anyone who received their last dose at least 2 months prior (24th October 2021 or before and from then on at least 2 months interval).

The recommended interval is after 2 months, but preferably before 6 months from the primary dose.

From 28th December 2021, the National Vaccination Programme will provide Pfizer booster vaccinations to anyone who received their last dose at least 6 months since the second primary dose.

Booster doses are the same vaccine in the same dose administered to people who have had a primary vaccination series and are administered to allow the body to boost its immunity to the Covid-19 virus.

Vaccine Age group Wait period Available
J&J second dose Healthcare workers (Sisonke) N/A 10 November 2021
Pfizer second dose Children 12 – 17 42 days after first dose 9 December 2021
J&J second dose Everyone who received a first dose 2 months after first dose 24 December 2022
Pfizer third dose 18 and older 6 months after second dose 28 December 2022

Read: When you can get your third Covid-19 booster shot in South Africa



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