News / Covid-19
The national department of health has urged South Africans to get booster shots as soon as possible, as the country started rolling out the third doses of the jabs yesterday, with experts commending the department for making booster shots available in time as the effect of vaccines starts to wane.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s prof Glenda Davison said with a booster, protection was increased against the omicron variant.
However, she called on those who have not yet received their first jab to go and get vaccinated.
“That does not mean we should stop trying to get everyone else to go and get their first shots, we should continue trying our best to persuade those who are hesitant to come forward,” Davison said.
“The country has enough vaccines available for those who are first time vaccinators and those eligible for the booster.”
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Health department spokesperson Foster Mohale said there was no need for people to register for the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) or the Pfizer vaccine booster shot. South Africans could show up at any vaccination site with their SA ID or any other proof of identity.
Mohale also said the department would send reminders via SMS to everyone eligible for the booster shot, but that people should not wait for the SMS as long as they were due for booster shots, based on the time interval.
“[They can] walk into their nearest vaccination site, as long as they received their last dose six months ago if it’s Pfizer, or two months ago if it’s J&J,” Mohale said.
“There is no need to register, anytime, anywhere. But note that some sites, especially private sites, may be still closed for the festive break.”
He said currently the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority had not licensed mix-and-match vaccines, and the department was also waiting for the Ministerial Advisory Committee on vaccines to advise the minister of health in the next few weeks.
“For J&J boosters, the time interval between the last primary dose and booster dose is two months, but we urge people to come forward before six months.
“For Pfizer boosters, the time interval is six months between the last primary and the booster.”