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Campaign needed to get parents on board with jabs for under 18s: Fedsas deputy

CapeTalk logo CapeTalk 2021/10/11
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  • Fedsas deputy CEO Jaco Deacon says parents need to be well-informed before under 18s join the vaccine queue
  • Parents will have to give consent for under 18s to get the jab when it becomes available to them
  • Medicines regulator Sahpra approved the Pfizer jab for everyone 12 years and older
a close up of a person talking on a cell phone: © arrowsmith2/123rf.com © Provided by CapeTalk © arrowsmith2/123rf.com

Health officials have been advised to roll out an education campaign before allowing teenagers to get their Covid-19 vaccines.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) deputy CEO Jaco Deacon says this will help parents to make informed decisions when consenting for their children to be vaccinated.

Deacon says Fedsas would welcome the vaccination of people under the age of 18 in order to bring stability back in schools.

He believes that Grades 11 and 12 should be prioritised when under 18s become eligible for vaccination.

He argues that quality scientific informaton will help combat vaccine hesitancy among all age groups.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has approved the use of Pfizer jab for everyone of 12 years and older.

Currently, the government's main priority is to vaccinate 70% of South Africans over the age of 18, particularly those aged 50 and above.

The next phase would be to start vaccinations for those below the age of 18 so we shouldn't be surprised if somewhere along the line we will start to do that. From our side, we will welcome it as it will bring some stability and normality back into the education system.

Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO - Federation Of Governing Bodies of SA Schools

Until we have a sufficient number of people vaccinated, we're not going to have a normal kind of school programme.

Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO - Federation Of Governing Bodies of SA Schools

If we prioritise, I think we need to prioretise the Grade 11 and Grade 12 learners because they go into that final exams... that they are not interrupted for their final years of schooling and that they will be able to sit for the final exam.

Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO - Federation Of Governing Bodies of SA Schools

We should not forget that we cannot vaccinate children under the age of 18 without parental consent. So, that will be the biggest challenge to get the forms out and to get the forms back before we start any campaign. I would advise the department that before we send out any forms to parents, we should have a proper information campaign.

Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO - Federation Of Governing Bodies of SA Schools

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