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The government should immediately begin providing booster shots for all fully vaccinated adults. It has been dithering long enough over the implementation of vaccine mandates — it should not do the same with booster jabs.

It is only beginning to mull introducing booster vaccines in a staggered fashion to older people and vulnerable groups — but what if there is no uptake among them? Will SA go the Namibian route and destroy expiring doses of vaccines due to a slow uptake, after complaining endlessly about vaccine inequality? The UK this week opened up booster vaccines for all adults, to be taken three months after their second shot.

President Cyril Ramaphosa seems to think his administration has the luxury of time to take decisions. But the world is in the grip of a pandemic, SA is in crisis, the state is weak and inefficient, nearly half the working-age population is unemployed, services are crumbling and Covid is beginning to surge again.

It was a mistake to dither on mandates; don’t make the same mistake with booster shots. Allow willing adults access to them now. These are far from ordinary times — SA requires extraordinary leadership.


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