South Africa Eases Age Restriction on Coronavirus Shots to 18+

South Africa will make coronavirus vaccines available to all those aged 18 and over from Friday after the cabinet agreed to accelerate its inoculation drive amid a third wave of infections.

The move comes after the government’s biggest challenge in meeting a target of issuing vaccines to two-thirds of the population of 60 million shifted from a shortage of supply to a lack of demand. The government had previously intended making the shots available to all adults from next month. 

Africa’s most industrialized nation began dispensing Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson doses to those between 35 and 49 years old last month, but uptake among that age group hasn’t been sustained, Nicholas Crisp, a deputy director-general in the Department of Health, said last week

South Africa has had more than 2.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases to far, the most on the continent, and 78,377 of those who’ve been diagnosed with the disease have died. Almost 10 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.