The Department of Health has updated the COVID-19 vaccination schedule for people aged 50 years and older, and as a result all people falling under this age category are eligible to receive an additional booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine from this week.
This additional booster is available to all people of this age group who have completed at least 120 days or four months since they received their last COVID-19 vaccination of either Pfizer or J&J.
The department said the Pfizer vaccine has shown to be safe and effective for boosting immunity in older persons who remain at highest risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19.
“Out of a total adult population of almost 20 million people who have vaccinated so far, more than 7 million of them are aged 50 years and older,” said the department.
Meanwhile, South Africa has recorded 2 062 new COVID-19 cases which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 970 993.
The increase represents an 8.8% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (34%) followed by Western Cape (20%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 13%, Eastern Cape accounted for 11% and Free State accounted for 6%. Mpumalanga and Free State accounted for 7% each respectively. North West accounted for 6%, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape accounted for 3% each respectively and Limpopo accounted for 1%.
The department has recorded 47 deaths, and of these, 10 occurred in the past 24-48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 101 397 to date.
There has been an increase of 56 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.
With regards to tests conducted, 25 400 217 tests were conducted in both public and private sectors.
In the public sector, 11 556 038 tests were conducted while 13 844 179 tests were conducted in the private sector.
Source: South African Government News Agency