DURBAN - If you have had your first Pfizer jab and are confused about waiting longer for your second dose, there is no need for panic.
According to the Department of Health and the World Health Organization, the initial 21-day waiting period has been extended to 42 days.
KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane, said although it was initially said that the interval between the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine should be 21 days, this can be extended to 42 days – especially if there are challenges with the supply of the vaccine doses.
"This 42-day interval will enable more people to get their first doses of the vaccine, and then the second (dose) when more doses become available," she said.
"We are explaining this so as to eliminate confusion among elderly people, especially when they arrive at our sites and get given a date that appears to be distant. We want to ensure that as many people as possible get the vaccine so that they can benefit from it," she said.
Simelane appealed to younger people, who are techno-savvy, to help the elderly with registration and to staff at health facilities to assist the elderly with registration when they get there.
"As a province, we are doing extremely well and receiving accolades for our successful vaccination campaign, which is meant to save lives and keep citizens safe from the deadly Covid-19 pandemic," she said.
In less than two weeks since Phase 2 of the vaccination process began, the province has exceeded targets, with more than 181 948 people aged 60 and above getting vaccinated from the 108 vaccination sites that have been established throughout the province.
"The number of vaccination sites will be increased as more doses become available.
This is in addition to the 120 589 healthcare workers who have been vaccinated, with just 41 553 remaining, since Phase 1 of the programme was first launched on 18 February," Simelane said.