Health Department reassures public vaccines are safe for younger children

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The Health Department is adamant that its decision to vaccinate children aged between 12 and 17 is within the law, saying it’s concerned that members of the public are blowing their fears out of proportion.

According to the Children’s Act, those who are older than 12 can get medical attention and treatment without the consent of a guardian.

Government has extended its vaccine roll-out programme to children in this group with effect from Wednesday.

But the issue of consent has stimulated fierce public debate.

The Department’s Acting Director-General Doctor Nicholas Crisp has reassured members of the public that the vaccines are safe:

Meanwhile, Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale says vaccination sites will be open for walk-ins from this age group.

No vaccination sites will be set up at schools at this stage due to preparations for the end-of-year exams.

In the video below, some residents in Mahikeng express their concern over vaccination for 12-17 year olds, while others say they are ready: