The Department of Health has reiterated the call for young people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the festive season continues.
More than 850 000 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have received a single shot of the Pfizer vaccine and the government is hoping that many more will get their jab.
The ministry is also hopeful that young people 18 years and older will also understand the need to get the jab as it will allow for much safer social interaction.
People of all ages are still urged to mask up and also avoid poorly ventilated and crowded areas. Hand sanitizing is also a must.
“I hope the young people are going to get a wake-up call because you might remember that when the Omicron started it was largely affecting younger people. They were saying this is a disease for the older ones, we don’t get it, but no it is a disease affecting everyone in the world. We would want to save as many as we can. The vaccine is free and there are enough there. So we have been coining a slogan to say: can you have a jab before the jol, a jab before the jive around this festive season? When you go to the jive/jol please remember to get the jab first,” says Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Deputy Health Minister.
Dr Nicholas Crisp on the Pfizer vaccine rollout for children from ages of 12 to 17
Meanwhile, people who received the second dose of their Pfizer jab at least six months ago can now get their booster jabs.
The Department says the Pfizer booster vaccine is only available to eligible people who are over the age of 18. Johnson and Johnson’s booster shots are already available to those who received their first J and J shot at least two months ago.
Many countries are expanding COVID-19 vaccine booster programmes to shore up protection against the Omicron variant.
Vaccination of children between the ages of 12 to 17: Prof. Mignon McCulloch