JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- A total of 38,800 young people aged 12 to 17 in South Africa had been vaccinated by 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the first day of vaccination against COVID-19 for this age group, national Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale said.
About 6 million teenagers are eligible for the vaccines and they will only get vaccines after school, Mohale told Xinhua in a telephone interview, adding that the government expects a large number of recipients on weekends.
Due to preparations for final year examinations, there won't be any special vaccination sites at schools for this age group at the current stage, he said.
Children in this age group will receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine after it was recommended by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccine.
Mohale said parents and legal guardians are encouraged to assist eligible young people to register and vaccinate at their nearest public or private vaccination site. It is recommended that parents have open discussions with children about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccine to make an informed health choice, he said.
As of Wednesday, South Africa has administered over 20.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and about 11.2 million people have been fully vaccinated.