Focus should remain on vulnerable age groups: Prof Shabir Madhi

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Jab rollout

Focus should remain on vulnerable age groups: Prof Shabir Madhi

Department of health has announced that children from 12 will soon get the jab

Senior science reporter

News that children aged 12 to 17 can get vaccinated with one dose of Pfizer in SA from October 20 has been welcomed by top Wits University vaccinologist Prof Shabir Madhi, but he warns that this should in no way become the focus.

Speaking on a webinar hosted by Healthy Living Consulting on Friday morning, just hours after the department of health announced the vaccine rollout for the those 12 to 17, Madhi said: “I will encourage my own children to get vaccinated, but for the country as a whole, I am ambivalent about kids getting vaccinated. This is not going to help much when this age cohort gets vaccinated. We still need to put our efforts into getting the right groups vaccinated, and that is those above 50 years of age, or those who are 35 years and older who have underlying medical conditions.”

He added: “If we now try to just expand without getting to that 90% mark for those above 50, it is not going to assist the country going forward unless we couple it [vaccination of 12 to 17 year cohort] with the focus on the group above 50.”..

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