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The National Health Department has announced that it’s ready for children aged 12 and older to get their Covid-19 vaccine.

With school holidays around the corner, the department says that it hopes to have at least half of this age group vaccinated by the start of the holidays.

With this age group being added, South Africa’s vaccination programme will prepare for another 6 million injections. Unlike adults aged 18 and older, children will only be vaccinated with one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that while the Children’s Act states that children aged 12 and older can consent to their own medical treatment, it is recommended that parents discuss the benefits of the vaccine with children and accompany them when they present themselves at vaccination sites.

“Vaccination of young people from the age of 12 years is a global phenomenon, (and) the parents should not be too concerned about it,” said Phaala.

Children in the age group 12 – 17 can register for their vaccination through the Electronic Vaccination Data System or call the Covid-19 call centre on 0800 029 999.

Image credit: Duke University

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