What are parents saying about the Covid-19 vaccination for children?

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"Local parents share their thoughts on vaccinating their children." Photo: Getty Images
"Local parents share their thoughts on vaccinating their children." Photo: Getty Images

Health Minister Joe Phaahla has announced that children between the ages of 12 and 17 may now be vaccinated. 

Minister Phaahla told the media during the briefing that, to allow the necessary preparation on the Electronic Vaccination Data registration system and other logistical preparations, the roll-out will begin on 20 October.

See: SA teens are in line to be vaccinated: What you need to know 

He says that the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and will be used for this age group. Every child will receive just one dose, as opposed to adults who received two doses.

According to the health department’s acting director general, Nicholas Crisp, South Africa has enough stock to vaccinate up to half of the country’s 6.5-million children between the ages of 12 and 17 with one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine, by January 2022.

He also said that Matric students will be prioritised, so that they have enough time to recover from possible side-effects before their exams begin on 27 October. The department’s goal is to have 3.25-million children vaccinated by mid-January 2022.  

Parents have asked if the programme will be rolled out at schools, but it will not, and instead children older than 12 years will be able to get vaccinated at all public and private vaccination sites. 

Also see: Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here  

Tested and is safe

Parent24 asked parents if they will be vaccinating their children.

Mom of three, Phakama Mjiwu, shared that she does not have a problem with the vaccine. "I will vaccinate my children. I know that their immune system is strong," she said.

Makhokolotso Khapetsi, mom of two, shared that she will be vaccinating her children. She added, "Having them vaccinated means that I will be allowing them to have opportunities to access services they need."

Father of two, Shane, told us, "I do not see why they should not go if the vaccine is tested and is safe. They go for immunisation, and they are fine. I do not think this will be any different."

Read: OPINION | I won't ask you to get vaccinated, but as numbers become names consider this   

Vaccine hesitancy 

Not everyone is convinced, as a father of one admitted to Parent24. Aphiwe told us "I will not vaccinate my child. I do not trust this vaccine."

Vaccine hesitancy is a real concern, as we need to vaccinate a large part of the population in order to reach herd immunity and put the pandemic, and its restrictive lockdowns, behind us. 

Nonetheless, protecting our children is a priority, and it's is understandable that parents will have concerns and queries.

The best way to address this is to speak to your doctor or clinic sister, to ask questions and to read trusted sources on the vaccine trials and the processes that were used to ensure the safety and efficacy of this vaccine. 

To learn more about the Covid-19 vaccine, visit Health24 here.

Let us know what you think of the vaccine and whether you will be vaccinating your children in this roll-out. Share your thoughts and questions with us via email at chatback@parent24.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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