Health department rolls out Pfizer boosters to eligible individuals

The official rollout of the Pfizer booster vaccination shots kicks off on Tuesday and the health department says it is hopeful that those eligible will go and get their shots even during the festive period.

According to the official South African coronavirus website, 9 118 people had already received their Covid-19 booster shots as of 27 December.

Those who received the first primary two doses of the vaccine six months ago are eligible for the booster.

“We are aware that most people are still in the festive period mood, so we don’t expect a high turnout this week,” health department spokesperson Foster Mohale said, adding that healthcare workers would nevertheless be ready to assist those who came to get  vaccinated.

Booster shots of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine have been available since December 24 for individuals who received their primary dose at least two months prior.

More than 231 954 J&J boosters have already been administered through the Sisonke 2 study to monitor the effectiveness of the single-dose vaccine booster given to healthcare workers first vaccinated in February.

Mohale said the health department was encouraging all those eligible for both the J&J and Pfizer boosters to go to their nearest vaccination sites to get the “life saving” jabs.

With the holiday season almost over, the department has also reiterated calls for parents and guardians of children aged between 12 and 17 years old to encourage them to get vaccinated before schools open for the 2022 academic year.

Currently, more than 884 387 vaccines in the 12 to 17 years cohort have been administered.

At least 39.78-million adults aged 18 years and above have received at least one vaccine dose, with more than 15.5-million (38.9%) being fully vaccinated.

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