Louisa Menqesi receiving her vaccine from professional nurse Lydia Mamashela at the Zwartkops drive-through vaccination site in Tshwane. File Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Louisa Menqesi receiving her vaccine from professional nurse Lydia Mamashela at the Zwartkops drive-through vaccination site in Tshwane. File Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Parents urged to discuss Covid-19 vaccine benefits with kids, and accompany them to get the jab

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Oct 20, 2021

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Pretoria – The Zwartkops vaccination drive-through site in Tshwane will on Wednesday open its doors for young people aged 12 to 17 years as South Africa commenced the registration and vaccination of the age cohort.

Social activist and volunteer at the facility, Yusuf Abramjee, said on Wednesday that the Zwartkops drive through vaccination site would be open from mid-day to 6pm.

He added: “Registrations for 12 to 17 years old will open in the morning. Here is the link: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/.

The department of health has, from Wednesday, commenced with registration and vaccination of young people, aged 12 to 17, with the single- dose Pfizer vaccine in line with the recommendations from the ministerial advisory committee on vaccines.

“This follows an announcement made by the Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla last week that all children 12-17 years and older will be eligible to receive one dose of Pfizer vaccine. Most of them are at secondary or high school level. This will be beneficial, as schools are preparing for end year examinations to conclude the academic year,” said the department of health spokesperson Foster Mohale.

He said due to preparations for final year examinations, there won`t be “any special vaccination sites” at schools for this age group at the moment.

Parents, caregivers and legal guardians have been encouraged to assist eligible young people to register and to get the vaccine at their public or private nearest vaccination sites.

“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 Mohale.

“However, it is recommended that parents have open discussions with children about the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine to make an informed health choice and possibly accompany them when they present themselves at vaccination sites.”

The department of health added that the vaccination of young people from the age of 12 years had become a global phenomenon “of which the parents should not be too concerned about it”.

As with adults, all eligible children should bring along their South African ID cards, birth certificates with registration numbers, foreign passports or any verifiable asylum/refugee proof of identity bearing their names for purposes of registering on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

Meanwhile, Mohale said women and young girls aged 12 years and older should be encouraged to vaccinate during any stage of their pregnancy and breastfeeding.

“The department recommended that health care workers discuss the benefits and possible risks of Covid-19 vaccination with their clients. All eligible children can register to vaccinate through EVDS link https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/ or call COVID-19 Call centre 0800 029 999,” said Mohale.

All general enquiries related to access to the vaccination of adolescent young people should be directed to [email protected]

On Tuesday, South Africa recorded 453 new Covid-19 cases and 50 deaths, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

“Today, the institute reports 453 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 917 255. This increase represents a 1.6% positivity rate.

“As per the National Department of Health, a further 50 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 88 674 to date.

“A total of 18 217 612 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors,” the NICD said.

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