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Dis-Chem expands opening hours at mass vaccination sites in readiness for 12-17 cohort

In preparation for the opening of COVID-19 vaccines to the 12 to 17 age group from October 20th and recognising that the school day limits the ability for children to get vaccinated during the week, Dis-Chem will open its vaccination sites (including in-store and mass sites) on Saturdays for the next three weeks, starting this Saturday 23 October.


SAHPRA has approved the Pfizer vaccination for children aged 12 – 17 years, where a single dose will be administered. 

“We welcome the announcement that vaccinations will open to younger groups as we need to give those who really want protection the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible.  As we approach the summer holiday season and the longest holiday period of the year, the decision to extend the rollout to the younger population helps to reduce the impact of children as a vector to transmit the virus.  Given that this younger population group is very social, the timing is fortunate, and we both anticipate and look forward to good uptake,” says Dis-Chem CEO Ivan Saltzman.

“As with all the other age groups where we saw strong demand in the first few weeks, we expect a similar pattern with the 12 to 17 cohort.  As most learners are generally at school until 14:00, and as its not ideal to take children out of school so close to the end of year examinations, we have decided to open our vaccination sites on Saturdays for the next three weekends at least,” he says.

Apart from boosting the numbers of vaccines administered, the opening of vaccinations to the 12 to 17 age group is particularly important as many caregivers to children are elderly and are in the vulnerable groups.  Furthermore, it will coincide with week three of the second dose for early adopters from the 18 to 35 age group, so the numbers of fully vaccinated people should continue to increase steadily.  To date Dis-Chem has administered 740,000 vaccine doses.

Many Dis-Chem in-store clinics are already vaccinating on Saturdays, so opening mass sites over this period is a natural extension to ensure that those who have already been vaccinated at Dis-Chem can bring their children at a convenient time.

Furthermore, Dis-Chem has extended its vaccination services directly to schools, on school premises, which makes it easier for learners, friends and family within each school community to access vaccines.  Should heads of schools wish to participate in this initiative, please contact Tonya van der Merwe at [email protected] or Leandra Williams at [email protected] for further details.

Read more | Original article 

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