The Department of Health has approved the implementation of Covid-19 vaccine booster doses for those who have received their initial series of Johnson and Johnson or Pfizer vaccines.
In a WhatsApp statement released by the department, it outlined the rollout as follows:
- From 24 December 2021, those who have taken a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at least two months ago, will be allowed to have a Johnson and Johnson booster shot.
- From 28 December 2021, those who have completed their two-dose Pfizer series at least six months ago, will be allowed to have a Pfizer booster shot.
The government has also confirmed that those who have had two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are allowed to receive a Johnson and Johnson booster shot at least six months after their second dose.
However, those who have received a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will not be allowed to receive a Pfizer booster shot.
The Department of Health’s decision to roll out booster shots follows regulatory body SAHPRA’s approval of the Johnson and Johnson booster shot earlier today.
The Pfizer booster shot had already been approved by SAHPRA on 8 December, but its rollout was subject to the approval of the Department of Health until today.
South Africa passes peak of fourth wave
CSIR researcher Ridhwaan Suliman recently claimed that South Africa has passed the peak of its fourth wave – in about half the number of days of the previous waves.
Actuarial scientist Louis Rossouw added that the 7-day moving average of Covid-19 cases peaked on 12 December at around 22,000 cases per day.
South Africa’s hospital admissions have remained within the country’s capabilities, and there are three possible reasons for this:
- Omicron doesn’t cause as severe a case of Covid-19 as Delta.
- A combination of vaccinations and infection from previous variants has spared most South Africans who catch Omicron from worse symptoms.
- Increased hospitalisations could be lagging behind new cases due to how rapidly this wave peaked.
Despite the data showing that South Africa has weathered this wave better than those before it, researchers have warned South Africans not to let their guard down.
This is because Covid can still causes severe symptoms and death, and many have reported suffering from “long Covid.”