Additional boosters for 50 years and older will provide additional protection
From 6 June, persons 50 years and older are eligible for an additional Pfizer booster vaccine if they have received their last booster of either Pfizer or JnJ at least 120 days ago.
The following changes in the vaccination schedule for those aged 50 years and older if they received the following vaccines now applies:
JnJ (full series will contain one primary vaccination enhanced by the subsequent booster doses)
- Primary vaccination (one-shot JnJ full primary schedule)
- First booster after 60 days since original dose
- Second booster after 90 days since first booster. Choice between JnJ or Pfizer
- Third, additional booster, 120 days since second booster. Pfizer dose
Pfizer (full series consists of two doses of the vaccination enhanced by subsequent booster doses)
- First Pfizer dose (first of two doses of full primary schedule)
- Second Pfizer dose after 21 days since first dose (second of two doses of full primary schedule)
- First booster dose of 90 days since second dose. Choice between JnJ or Pfizer
- Second, additional booster dose, 120 since first booster. Pfizer dose
To date, almost 5,5 million have been administrated leading to approximately 3 million people being vaccinated in the Western Cape. The province has achieved the target of 70% of those aged 60 years and older having received their full primary vaccination series. We now need to focus on 50 – 59 years to reach 70% coverage while concerted efforts are developed and initiated to increase uptake amongst younger age groups, especially 18 – 34 years and 12 – 17 years.
The vaccine works and does offer protection against severe illness and death. This is evident in the recent resurgence of COVID-19 infections we have seen. During this resurgence we have seen new infections increase BUT this has not led to admissions and death reaching considerable heights.
Our latest data shows that among COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the current resurgence, vaccination provides strong protection against:
- hospitalisation/death: 3.6x lower risk if boosted
- severe admission (ICU/ventilation/steroids)/death: 4.3x lower risk if boosted
If we really want to stay safe against COVID-19 during this winter, we need to learn to live with the virus in our midst. There are easy things we can do to achieve a safe winter:
- Ensure your COVID-19 vaccination is up to date
- Open the windows when indoors, in crowded spaces or on public transport
- It is advisable to continue wearing masks, especially in crowded and unventilated spaces
- Get a flu shot. You can get this at the same time you are getting your COVID-19 vaccination
- And if you do have develop flu-like symptoms, know what to do to curb any avoidable spread
Our biggest weapon against COVID-19 infection remains vaccination. We still require a big whole of society effort to continue to generate increased targeted demand for unvaccinated persons and the take up of boosters for vaccinated persons. Find your nearest vaccination site here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/vaccine/latest-vaccination-sites and get vaccinated or boosted today.