SA not ready to vaccinate children - Health Dept

SA not ready to vaccinate children - Health Dept

The Department of Health says the country isn’t ready to roll out vaccines to the under 18 population.


This comes amid the country’s efforts to ramp up vaccinations.


Health officials remain hopeful the country will reach its target to administer the jab to at least 67% of the country’s population by year end. 


The over 18 population is the latest to get the jab.


Acting director-general Nicholas Crispin says there are currently no plans to extend the vaccination drive to under 18s. 


Crispin made the remarks on the eve of the launch of a trial that will see the first South African child being vaccinated against Covid-19.


The Phase III paediatric Covid-19 vaccine trial will be launched at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria on Friday.


The youngest will include 6-month-old babies. 


“Those countries that are vaccinating under 18s have already reached a far higher percentage of vaccine coverage than we have, they are months ahead of us in term of their programmes,” Crisp told MPs.


“I have no doubt that sometime in the future we will have a vaccination programme that is able to roll out to minors.”


Crispin added there are some concerns that the country’s vaccination programme had taken another dip, despite opening up to Gen Z. 


“Our most pressing challenge at the moment is to find people and convince people that vaccination is good for you.”


“Our challenge is to get vaccines to people and get people to vaccines.”


Listen to Crispin below: 


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