South Africa will begin vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 next week using the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the health minister said on Friday, as reported by Yahoo!News.
South Africa's health regulator last month approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in children aged 12 and older. However, health minister Joe Phaahla said that on the advice of its vaccine advisory committee the government would only give teenagers a single dose of Pfizer's two-shot regimen due to concerns that it may affect the heart.
"The timing of the second dose will be informed by further information on this rarely observed side-effect which has no permanent risk," Phaahla said.
Meanwhile, he said that the government was considering giving a booster shot to high-risk health care workers, who were the first to receive doses of the J&J vaccine.
South Africa's Medical Research Council has applied to the health regulator to consider approving a J&J booster shot because of its potential to strengthen immunity among health workers.
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