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Discussions ongoing on Pfizer covid booster shots- health department

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The Health Department said that discussions were ongoing on the Pfizer booster shots.

Booster doses for adults who received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine have been approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).

The department’s acting Director-General Dr Nicholas Crisp said that the interval that had been approved was six months, adding that the first people to qualify to receive the booster was on 28 December.

“We’re hoping to ready either then or within days after that with the vaccinations. That will apply to anybody over the age of 12. Clearly, we’ve only recently started vaccinating children or adolescents between the age of 12 and 18 s it will be a long time before we get to those boosters,” Crisp said.

He added that there were discussions around whether to shorten the six-month period.

Crisp said that Friday was also the last day of the Sisonke 2 study, which is the vaccination of the booster doses for healthcare workers.

“We are anticipating either today or over the weekend for an approval from Sahpra on what is to happen with the remainder of the population who are vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson. Those evaluations are the study results as well as various other inputs from JOhnson & johnson. They have been going on through the course of this week so we know that it is well in hand,” he said.

Speaking about the mixing and matching of boosters, he said that there was no decision as yet.

“We don’t have any formal decision on mixing and matching at this point. There have been a number of documents submitted. Sahpra will be giving us guidance. There was a WHO Sage report released earlier this week and has been submitted to the Vaccine Ministerial Advisory Committee amongst other documents,” Crisp explained.

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