The vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 against Covid-19 has begun, according to the national health agency. This may add an additional six million individuals to the country's immunization program. The agency stated that it intended to vaccinate at least half of this age group before the start of the summer vacation. To date, more than 11 million South Africans have been completely immunized against Covid-19.
"The Department of Health will [on Wednesday] begin registration and vaccination of young people aged 12 to 17... with the Pfizer vaccine in accordance with the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines' recommendations," the department stated in a statement.
On Friday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla announced the plan, saying that all children aged 12 and up will be entitled for one dosage of the Pfizer vaccine."As schools prepare for [year-end] tests to complete the academic year, this will be useful to the majority of them, who are in secondary or high school. Due to final-year test preparations, there will be no specific immunization sites at schools for this age group for the time being "Phaahla said.
While the Children's Act says that children aged 12 and older can agree to their own medical treatment, Phaahla suggests that parents discuss the advantages of the vaccine with their children and accompany them when they present themselves at vaccination locations.
"Vaccination of young people from the age of 12 is a global phenomena, [and] parents should not be overly concerned," Phaahla added.
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