This decision was made after Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, announced that all youngsters would be eligible to receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine for now. This decision is also in line with the recommendations from the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Vaccines.
“We believe that this will come in handy as schools start their examinations, while some of them already advanced towards concluding the academic year and studying to prepare for the next academic year of 2022,” Phaahla said last Friday.
No special vaccine sites will be put up at schools
According to the Department of Health, there are about 6 million youngsters in the secondary school cohort. And the department aims to vaccinate at least half before the end of the school year.
No special vaccination sites will be set up at schools due to preparations for final year examinations. Thus, parents, caregivers and legal guardians are encouraged to assist eligible youngsters to register. From there they will be able to get vaccinated at their public or private nearest vaccination site.
According to the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, children over the age of 12 can consent to their medical treatment. However, the department recommends that parents have an open discussion with teenagers about the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Vaccination of young people from the age of 12 is a global phenomenon of which the parents should not be too concerned about.”
All eligible children are reminded to bring along South African ID cards, birth certificates with a registration number, foreign passport or any verifiable asylum or refugee proof of identity bearing the name of the child for purposes of registering on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).