It takes less than an hour to get your inoculation and be part of the more than 19 million other citizens in South Africa who have chosen to be safe and keep others safe. Since the start of the pandemic South Africans have been calling for the vaccine roll out in the pursuit to save loved ones and each other.

COVID-19 has disrupted the world tremendously and when South Africa started its vaccination drive, hope for normality was restored. Various stakeholders have played their part to ensure that getting vaccinated is a reality for all.

The long awaited announcement was finally made by Health Minister Mr Joe Phaahla last week, saying that the government has confirmed it will open COVID-19 vaccinations to children over the age of twelve.

“This service will start on 20 October. We believe that this will come in handy as the schools start their examinations and will be completing the academic year,” said Minister Phaahla.

Children eligible to receive a vaccine will be given one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which has been approved by the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) in September. 

The COVID-19 vaccines are a protection against the virus and reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death. As the country is nearing a vaccination milestone of 20 million vaccinations given, nearly 35% of the adult population have been given a single jab vaccine thus far, meaning the country is also close to being halfway towards a total target of 70%.

Together citizens can ensure that everyone in the country is safe by simply getting the jab. When it comes to vaccination, South Africa has been inspiring success following the Vooma Vaccination Weekends aimed to mobilise citizens and people living in South Africa to get vaccinated as a means to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital pass system to show vaccination status to facilitate travel and now the saving grace for twelve-year-olds.

Speaking to a twelve-year-old boy, Lwazi Zulu from Sandton to find out his views on the vaccination announcement he said, “I am very happy that I can get the injection to help protect me from the virus. I am scared of needles but I can brave it out so I can get a chance to be able to play with my friends without a mask and a less chance to suffer from COVID”.

Everyone has the responsibility to play their part to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The more people get vaccinated, the greater sense of freedom and safety in social interactions and economic activity. Reiterating the words by government, if we all choose vaccination, we can save the festive season and prevent a devastating fourth wave. Vaccines are free of charge and vaccination centres and points are open all day across the country.

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Additional sources Mail& Guardian ; Business Tech