South Africa Shouldn't Give Under-18s Covid-19 Shots Yet - Expert

Shabir A. Madhi, Dean Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, has said that South Africa would be better off offering a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to the 65% of adults above the age of 65 who have been vaccinated for Covid-19, rather than offering shots to 12-17-year-olds, The Conversation reports.

Madhi went on to say: "We shouldn't be using these vaccines to give to children between 12 to 17 years a single dose. The primary goal of vaccination therefore needs to be on reducing severe disease and death. This requires targeted strategies on who to prioritise. I'm not saying that you shouldn't vaccinate children. There's a time and place. But that time and place is not right now in South Africa, or globally in the context of the tragic inequity of vaccine access."

This comes as the government prepares to ramp up vaccination efforts ahead of the festive season to stem a possible fourth wave of infections.

As of November 10, 2021, a total of 2,924,317 cases of Covid-19 has been confirmed in the country of which 89,387 proved fatal and 2,818,612 resulted in recovery. Vaccination doses administered to date amount to 23,151,823, according to the Department of Health.

InFocus

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