Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi has urged parents to allow their children who are aged 12 to 17 to take the COVID-19 vaccination.

This comes as the ACDP and various civil society movements approach the High Court in Pretoria to challenge the vaccination of children.

Mokgethi visited vaccination sites in and around Gauteng to monitor the second leg of the Vooma Vaccination Campaign Weekend which started on Friday.

The first leg was at the start of October following the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Gauteng Health Department says it’s in a race against time as it seeks to get millions of people vaccinated ahead of a fourth wave. However, anti-vaxxer groups are calling on the department not to include children in the vaccination process.

They say there’s no evidence that children are more at risk. Mokgethi says their observation is that most parents are willing to have their children vaccinated.

“Like here in Tshwane, since we started vaccinating  12 – 17 year-olds, we have vaccinated more than 4000 and most of the parents, as we interact with them, they are telling us that they just want their children to write exams and after that, they will bring them. Some of them just come without being accompanied by their parents. But we advise that they come with so that they can observe them after they are vaccinated.”

Parents angry over government’s decision to vaccinate children without parental consent:

However, parents expressed mixed feelings about the vaccination of children.

“Children from 12 – 17 right, shouldn’t be vaccinated because even people who are older also complained about the symptoms after the vaccination so I don’t think it’s good for the kids to be vaccinated.”

“I think the scientists have the best answer to this. So if they feel it’s good for them they should go ahead with that.”

This father of three believes it’s crucial to have children of all age groups vaccinated in a bid to protect them against infections.

“As a father, I believe vaccination is a good thing because it covers and helps everyone. To be protected against all sickness. Like there’s this pandemic of COVID-19. So it’s much better to get vaccinated.”

The Vooma Vaccine Campaign is set to continue every weekend until 70% of the population is fully vaccinated. The country is anticipating a fourth wave of infections in mid-December.”

Vaccination of children between the ages of 12 to 17: Prof. Mignon McCulloch