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Slow intake expected for the Covid-19 booster shot in SA due to holiday season

Community Services and Health mayco member Patricia van der Ross said despite the availability of booster shots, the holiday period meant that there had been a slow intake. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Community Services and Health mayco member Patricia van der Ross said despite the availability of booster shots, the holiday period meant that there had been a slow intake. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 29, 2021

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Cape Town - The Pfizer vaccine booster shots for Covid-19 are now being administered to those who have taken previous doses, but intake has expected to be slow due to the holidays.

Those who are over 18 and have received two doses of the Pfizer Cominarty vaccine will be eligible to receive a booster dose of the Cominarty vaccine.

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The recommended interval between receiving the second dose and the booster dose is six months. However, the public may receive the booster dose if they had the second shot more than six months ago.

The Janssen booster dose vaccine by Johnson & Johnson has been available since December 24 and is also subject to a six-month interval.

Due to the homologous nature of the booster vaccine, individuals can only receive the same vaccine that they received as their primary vaccination.

Community Services and Health mayco member Patricia van der Ross said despite the availability of booster shots, the holiday period meant that there had been a slow intake.

“We have encouraged our residents to go for the booster shot, and I do think because it is over the festive season, we are going to start-off slow.

“To be honest, we have limited staff at our facilities being able to assist at this point, but I do know with the new year and everybody returning to work, I’m positive that our intake will be more on a daily basis,” Van der Ross said.

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Juanita Arendse, Western Cape Chief Director for Emergency & Clinical Services Support, has advised people on the procedure of receiving the booster shot.

She said Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) would not send out a voucher or an SMS to those who are legible.

“Only eligible clients will have their EVDS record open to allow a booster dose to be captured on the system. Once the booster has been administered, the vaccinator must record the vaccination detail on the client’s existing vaccination card or, if unavailable, issue them with a new vaccination card,” Arendse said.

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“The provision of booster doses at congregate settings will be planned for January 2022 with a prioritisation of frail care centres. Clients in congregate settings who can mobilise to access vaccinations at current vaccination sites are encouraged to do so,” Arendse said.

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has welcomed the availability of the booster shots.

SAMA Chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee said: “This is a significant and welcome development, and we encourage all those who have had their vaccines to get their booster shots as soon as possible.

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“Importantly, we want to encourage all those, especially healthcare workers, who have yet to be vaccinated to do so not only for their own health but for the health of the nation”.

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Cape Argus

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