Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ ALAISTER RUSSELL
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ ALAISTER RUSSELL

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 years will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations from October 20, health minister Joe Phaahla said on Friday.

Speaking at the weekly Covid-19 briefing on Friday, the minister said the electronic registration system would be open from Wednesday next week with vaccinations starting the same day.  

Parents would not be required to give consent for their children to be vaccinated as the Children’s Act provided for 12-17 year-olds to give their own consent for any medical treatment, said acting health director-general Nicholas Crisp.

​This age group accounts for about 6-million people in SA.

“It would be good to vaccinate at least half of them between the school holidays and the end of exams,” said Crisp.

It is recommended children be given one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Phaahla said the department was monitoring “short-lived cases” of transient myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, which have been reported in a handful of patients elsewhere in the world after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“There is no indication the first dose has any serious side-effects,” he said, “and it still offers significant protection.”

This is a developing story

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