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Unpacking South Africa’s plan to vaccinate adolescents




South Africa Expansion COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. During the week of October 10-16, 2021, this age group accounted for 14.7% of the reported new COVID-19 cases, down from about 20% of the peak. Third resurrection..

As of mid-October 2021, children aged 10 to 19 accounted for 9.2% of all cases of COVID-19 reported from the beginning. Pandemic..

Adolescent vaccination Shorten the duration of symptoms, Limits infection to others and enables early return to school and normal activities.

This is especially important for adolescents with underlying disorders such as diabetes, cancer, HIV and obesity.Our data in National Institute of Infectious Diseases Adolescents with these underlying illnesses have been shown to be at increased risk of death from COVID-19 compared to adolescents without underlying illness.These underlying conditions accounted for 22% of adolescents Hospitalized with COVID-19 However, 60% of those who died from it.

Vaccination schedule

When the adolescent vaccination plan was announced, there were some important differences between the adolescent vaccination schedule and the vaccination schedule already in use for vaccinations over the age of 18. was.

First, adolescents are only offered the Pfizer Community Vaccine. This is the only SARS-CoV-2 vaccine currently approved. South African Health Product Authority For use in this age group (under Section 21 Emergency Access). Adults can get Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Second, adolescents do not inoculate adults twice, but only once. This decision was cautious as more safety information has been accumulated for this age group.

Countries such as the United States, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland have already vaccinated millions of young people. Their experience is Follow suit..


Pfizer vaccine It is shown Be safe for adolescents aged 12 to 17 in North America and Europe. Side effects are similar in adolescents and adults. Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), a rare side effect of the vaccine, has been reported in Europe and North America. Second vaccination.. It occurred in 20-150 cases per million doses of Pfizer vaccine and was more common in men than in women. Most of the time it was mild And the individual recovered quickly with supportive care.


The use of single doses has diverted resources from vaccination of older people over the age of 40, while raising concerns that their effectiveness in reducing infections is limited. Higher risk Of severe illness and death.

Compared to adults, adolescents More likely It is only a mild or asymptomatic infection, less likely to suffer from persistent symptoms after COVID-19, and less likely to be hospitalized or die of COVID-19. However, SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect others, especially in situations where non-pharmaceutical interventions are inadequate.

so Clinical trial In the United States, two doses of Pfizer vaccine have been shown to be 100% effective in reducing all new COVID-19 infections in children. A single dose reduced all new infections by 75%.

Big study Israeli people have found that a single dose of Pfizer vaccine is 59% effective 14 to 21 days after vaccination. Efficacy increased to 66% after 21-27 days and to 90% after the second dose.

NS gain Number of the study, Mainly healthcare professionals and their Household contact information, that is Displaying Risk is gradually reduced Asymptomatic infection As the number of doses of Pfizer increases. NS Study in england We have found that the risk of asymptomatic infections in domestic contacts of health care workers who have been vaccinated once is reduced by 40-50%. The risk of asymptomatic infection was reduced by 70-80% among healthcare worker contacts who received two doses.

The effectiveness of a single dose taller than For symptomatic infections compared to asymptomatic infections.

read more:
Children’s COVID-19: South Africa’s Experience and Future Directions

The effectiveness of one or two doses of the vaccine to prevent transmission from health care workers also depended on the vaccination status of household contacts. New infections were less common among contacts who received two vaccinations compared to one or zero vaccinations.

Therefore, a single vaccination given to adolescents is effective in limiting the transmission of household members to the extent that everyone else in the household or around adolescence is vaccinated. May depend on it.

Therefore, it is important that all adults over the age of 18 be vaccinated to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission with adolescents in the household.

This vaccination offer should facilitate conversation and discussion about COVID-19 vaccination between adolescents and adults. Adults can take this opportunity to vaccinate themselves and reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.

Important considerations

Perhaps one of the most controversial issues regarding vaccination of adolescents is vaccination fairness.

Is it justified to extend vaccination to the younger age group if there are older people who have not been vaccinated yet and are still at risk of severe COVID-19 and death? There is an urgent need to understand why vaccination rates for the elderly remain low. Is access bad? Is it a lack of knowledge or incorrect information? Can adolescent vaccinations be used to improve access for older people? These are difficult issues that policy makers must address.

For parents, caregivers and adolescents, vaccination ultimately depends on access, risk awareness and choice.




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