The Minister of Health says the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on COVID-19 Vaccines has recommended that individuals who have compromised immunity to get a booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine.
A booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given to a patient once the immunity of the previous dose of vaccine starts to decrease.
Immunocompromised individuals include people who have certain chronic medical conditions and people who require prolonged medical treatments. The Ministry has also included people who received solid organ or bone marrow transplants, renal dialysis and primary immunological disorders in the immunocompromised groups.
Health Minister Dr Phaahla explained that immunocompromised individuals will need a referral from a medical doctor in order to access a booster jab of the Covid-19 vaccine.
He also announced that the Department of Health is working with South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to determine a possible approach to administering booster shots or the Covid-19 vaccine to health care workers.
Phaahla also gave an update on the mixing of Covid-19 vaccines for individuals who have been vaccinated in other countries. He said while they won't be able to get a vaccine certificate, they may receive a second dose of Pfizer to complete their vaccination.
Two vaccines have been used in South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout program. Individuals living in South Africa would receive either one dose of the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Phaahla has said that data from other countries show that the Pfizer vaccine mixes well with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine and the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.