Vaccine regulations have been updated to increase vaccination numbers

South Africa has only vaccinated 28% of the population or 42% of its adults.

South Africa has updated its COVID-19 regulations in efforts to encourage its residents to get vaccinated, as stated by the health authorities on Monday. The country has recorded over 3.6 million positive cases and 98,000 deaths in total during the pandemic, recording more infections and deaths than any other African country. Vaccination numbers have reduced since the start of the vaccine rollout causing government to update its vaccination rules. The government has shortened the interval between Pfizer’s first and second doses from 42 to 21 days. People who received both Pfizer doses will be permitted to get a booster shot three months following their second vaccination, in contrast to the six months that were previously stated. Residents will also be given the option of "mixing and matching" booster shots.

Adults who received the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) dose will be offered a J&J or Pfizer booster two months following their J&J vaccination. Adults who received both Pfizer doses will be permitted to take the J&J booster. The country’s department of health noted in a statement, "The decision regarding which vaccine to administer as a booster should be guided by vaccine availability." South Africa has fully vaccinated 28% of its 60 million population or 42% of its 40 million adults. The country has vaccinated more residents than any other African country but still falls short of the government’s targets. The vaccination campaign which consisted of both J&J and Pfizer vaccines started rather slow as a result of difficulties procuring early vaccines and recently has been affected by vaccine hesitancy.