The Department of Health has announced that it has started administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) booster shot from Thursday, December 24.
According to the department, their decision comes after the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) approved the J&J booster shot to be taken at least two months after the original dose for adults over the age of 18.
SAHPRA also authorised the heterologous booster, also known as mix-and-match jabs, for those who had the Pfizer jab, at least six months after the second dose.
However, only homologous boosting is currently permitted, meaning people may only get the same vaccine that they received as their primary vaccination series.
This means people who received the J&J jab on October 24 or before, and from then on will be next in line to receive the second dose of the J&J vaccine.
“The recommended interval is after two months but preferably before six months from the primary dose. In addition, immunocompromised people who have received a second dose of the J&J shots will be illegible to receive a booster dose 60 days after receiving the additional dose.
“The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines for COVID-19 (VMAC) has advised the Minister regarding booster vaccines,” the Health Department said.
Meanwhile, the department said from Tuesday, December 28 the National Vaccination Programme would provide Pfizer booster vaccinations to anyone who received their last dose at least six months following the second primary dose.
“This comes after SAHPRA authorised the administering of the third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adults and children with a weak immune system,” the Health Department explained.