Phaahla: Slow pickup in jabbing 12-17-year-olds expected due to exams

The Health Minister visited the OR Tambo Community Health Centre in Diepsloot on Thursday.

FILE: Health Minister Joe Phaahla. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANENSBURG - Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the slow pickup in the vaccination of 12 to 17-year-olds was anticipated as some pupils were occupied with exams.

Phaahla has visited the OR Tambo Community Health Centre in Diepsloot on Thursday.

He said by 10 am on Thursday, about 7,000 children had received a shot, while 60,000 had registered online nationwide.

There were more empty chairs than those that were occupied centre despite this being an inoculation site for both teens and adults.

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There was a particularly a low turnout from the teens, but Phaahla said he wasn't too concerned by this.

“It is obviously still during school periods. So, we anticipated that there would be a slow pickup. But we’re quite confident that with the passing of time, there will be more children who come. Especially when school recess begins.”

He reiterated why the vaccination of 12 to 17-year-olds was important: “There has been a lot of incidents where younger people below the age of 18 have also been infected. Unfortunately, we have even lost some of the children.”

Many of the children who received their jabs at the centre were accompanied by parents who are healthcare workers at the centre.

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