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Who should get a booster shot and when?

The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine booster shot for South Africans older than 18.
The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine booster shot for South Africans older than 18.
Image: BreadCrumbs

A booster shot, or a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, is a jab administered to maximise vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.

Boosters in SA were given the green light earlier this month when the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) approved the Pfizer booster shot for everyone older than 18. 

Sahpra received an application from Pfizer to amend the dosing schedule for its vaccine and had subsequently agreed to allow a third dose for individuals aged 18 years and older. 

“The data provided only dealt with the situation of homologous boosting, where the third dose is of the same vaccine as the initial course (in this case, two doses).

“Sahpra is aware of the keen interest in the efficacy and safety of heterologous boosting regimens (so-called ‘mix-and-match’ approaches) and invites the submission of supportive data in this regard,” it said. 

Who should get a booster shot and when?

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) only healthcare workers who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster, if they chose to enrol in the Sisonke trial.

Persons aged 12 to 17 should receive a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to complete the vaccination series.

“Persons who have received a complete vaccine series (two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and a single dose of the J&J vaccine) will be eligible for a booster vaccine six months after receiving their last vaccine dose,” said the institute. 

A third dose of the vaccine for individuals aged 12 years and older who are severely immunocompromised, must be administered at least 28 days after the second dose.

Boosters will officially be phased in, starting with 60-year-old citizens and older. Those who wish to get a booster shot will need to download the form and it needs to be filled in by their doctors. 


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