Infectious Diseases News

Covid-19 SA: Additional booster jabs for high-risk people

COVID-19: Another wave on the horizon in SA
Additional Covid-19 booster jab for at risk South Africans(Photo: Freepik)
Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

 

An additional Covid-19 vaccine booster will soon be available to immunocompromised South Africans. The health ministry plans to provide this extra booster at least six months after the last jab.

“This next booster is a voluntary dose. It is not part of a  community campaign,” said Health Ministry spokesperson Foster Mohale.

South Africans between 18-49 years are eligible to receive three doses. Whilst those 50 years and older were eligible to receive a total of four doses.

“This would mean that adults aged 18-49 years would now be eligible to receive four doses. While those 50 years and older would be eligible to receive five doses,” said Mohale. 

Vaccines for at-risk children

Children between 5-11 years with conditions that put them at risk of severe Covid-19 will be able to access the two doses of the paediatric Comirnaty( Pfizer) vaccine early next year. 

This will be administered at 21 days between the two doses. However, it is not yet known exactly when this will be rolled out.

“Only children referred by a clinician will be eligible for vaccination. This will include children with chronic respiratory, heart, neurological, kidney, liver and gastrointestinal conditions and those with certain endocrine abnormalities and other conditions associated with immunosuppression,” said Mohale.

Mohale urged South Africans to continue taking the Covid-19 jabs as they remain the only protection against severe illness from the virus.

“Vaccination still provides the best protection against severe disease as well as long Covid.”

The battle is not yet over

According to the Director of the Centre for the Aids Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Prof Salim Abdool Karim, though we have reached widespread immunity from vaccination and natural infection, which has reduced hospitalisation and severe illness, the Covid-19 virus continues to spread, creating an ever-present risk of unpredictable new variants.

Karim was speaking last week during the World Health Organisation symposium. -Health-e News.

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.

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