A person receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. File picture: Lisi Niesner/Reuters
A person receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. File picture: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Vaccine rollout for teens 12-17 opens today

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Oct 20, 2021

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Covid-19 vaccinations are from today open to children in the 12 – 17 age group, and they don’t need their parents' permission to get the jab..

The Department of Health said parents, caregivers and legal guardians are encouraged to educate and assist eligible young people to register and vaccinate.

“The Children's Act 38 of 2005 provides that children over the age of 12 years can consent to their own medical treatment or that of their children, provided they are of sufficient maturity and have the mental capacity to understand the benefits, risks, social and other implications of the treatment,” said the department’s spokesperson Foster Mohale.

Children can go to any Covid-19 vaccination site and should bring their South African ID card, birth certificate, foreign passport or any verifiable asylum/refugee proof of identity.

Due to preparations for final year examinations, there will not be any special vaccination sites at schools for now.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) advised only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine be administered.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said during a media briefing last week that administering only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine is precautionary as there were a few cases of myocarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle — in teenage boys.

Mobile ‘Vaxi Taxi’ now set to take Covid-19 vaccine into every corner of the Cape

The Western Cape Health Department has launched Vaxi Taxi, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) mobile vaccination project.

The aim of the project is to take the vaccine campaign to the streets and into communities in every corner of the province.

The project leader for the EMS Vaxi Taxi project, Wayne Philander, said they have been working with community partners to identify locations to offer the Covid-19 vaccines and their goal is to reach every corner of the province.

“The aim of the EMS Vaxi Taxi is to serve communities and ensure that it reaches as many individuals as possible, whether it be at their workplaces and educational institutions, meeting people where they are,” Philander added.

Since the pop-up vaccination campaign commenced on September 4, over 1 000 people have been vaccinated.

Each Vaxi Taxi site consists of two ambulances, one used as a primary vaccination section and the other a secondary vaccination and resuscitation section.

The site also contains an equipped gazebo and administrative section.

Sputnik V vaccine not yet approved in South Africa because of HIV concerns – Sahpra

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has, for the moment, rejected the application for the use of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine over concerns related to HIV acquisition.

On Monday, Sahpra said a rolling review of the Sputnik V vaccine would remain open for submission of relevant safety data in support of the application.

“The Section 21 application for Sputnik V by Lamar international Pty (Ltd) will not be approved at this time. Sahpra is concerned that the use of the Sputnik V vaccine in South Africa, a setting of a high HIV prevalence and incidence, may increase the risk of vaccinated males acquiring HIV.”

The Sputnik V vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in the Russian Federation and has been in Sahpra’s rolling review process since the first application was submitted on February 23 this year.

In response, the Gamaleya Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology said in a statement that the possible concerns about the safety of Ad5-vectored vaccines in populations at risk for HIV infection are “completely unfounded”.

“There is no evidence of increased risk of HIV infection among the human population after common cold or conjunctivitis. There is no scientific or clinical evidence confirming the association of wild type adenoviruses or replicative defective adenovirus vectors with increased risk of HIV infection.”

Keep an eye out next week for another round-up of the top Covid-19 stories.

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