The Department of Health has recently announced that the vaccination roll-out plan will now extend to children over 12 years old.
Children aged 12 to 17 can get the jab from October 20, reports News24. The addition of this age group will include an additional six million people to the programme, with the Department keeping their fingers crossed that they’ll cross the halfway mark by the start of the school holidays.
During a media briefing, Health minister Joe Phaahla stated that the schools will benefit from the latest vaccination drive as learners prepare to write their end-of-year examinations, as per Business Tech.
However, young people looking to get the jab will need to head to public and private vaccinations sites, as the programme will not be implemented at schools this year, says Dr Nicholas Crisp, acting Director-General of Health.
Here’s what we know regarding children under this age group receiving the jab:
- They will not need to receive parental consent for the COVID-19 vaccination as the Children’s Act makes provision for children aged 12 – 17 to access medical treatment without their parent’s permission.
- Children under this age group will only receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Various studies indicate that there are a small number of myocarditis cases (inflammation of the heart muscle) that have occurred when the second dose has been administered within individuals within this specific age group.
However, Phaahla states that this is nothing to be concerned about as precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure children are vaccinated safely.