COVID-19 is not gone. The highly contagious omicron offshoot XBB.1.5 is leading to increased COVID-19 infections across the world.
Fortunately, as of Monday 30 January 2023, everyone in South Africa 18 years and older can now get an additional COVID-19 vaccination dose, or booster, if it has been longer than 180 days since their previous dose.
The reason we need to get the booster
Immunity (whether from previous infection or vaccination) decreases over time and a booster helps to increase antibodies up to 10 times. Vaccination remains the best defense against serious illness and death from COVID-19. The coronavirus has also continued to evolve over time.
Coming forward for a booster vaccination is a good idea for young and old, particularly as COVID-19 is still going around.
“The Western Cape welcomes the additional COVID-19 booster to help eligible residents ‘level up’ their immunity. We have implemented several strategies to make boosters more accessible at public vaccination sites, mobile outreaches in public spaces, and the Vaxi Taxi. Without a large uptake of boosters in the province, COVID-19 infection rates could surge again. Coming forward for a booster vaccination is a good idea, and the best way for us to reduce infections and hospital admissions ahead of the winter season,” says Dr Hilary Goeiman, Western Cape COVID-19 Project Office Lead.