Angola to expand COVID-19 vaccination to reach 12-year-olds

Nurses administer jabs as Angolans queue to receive a Covid-19 vaccination in Luanda on October 1, 2021. The Angolan Government made it mandatory for citizens to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before october 15th: after this day it will become mandatory to show a certificate in order to acces working place and public spaces. (Photo by Osvaldo Silva / AFP)
Nurses administer jabs as Angolans queue to receive a COVID-19 vaccine Luanda on October 1, 2021. / AFP via CFP)

Angola will start vaccinating children and teenagers aged between 12 and 17 years from December 16 as the government ramps up vaccination amid the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The Southern African country launched its mass inoculation drive in March, initially targeting persons considered to be at high risk, including the elderly, persons with underlying health conditions and healthcare workers.

The government later expanded the vaccination to capture all adults (18-year-olds and above), and in October issued a two-week ultimatum to have all eligible persons get their doses.

The further expansion of the vaccination bracket to cover people from 12-years-old aims to better protect the country’s public from the virus, even as the Omicron strain which is said to spread faster, continues to cause worry in the Southern African region.

The health ministry will also roll out the administration of booster doses to persons who completed their vaccination six months or more earlier.

“From the sixth month onwards, immunity starts to decrease and for this reason we have to reinforce the vaccination”, the Minister of Health, Sílvia Lutucuta, said.

Angola has so far reported a total of 65,475 confirmed COVID-19 infections, with 1,737 deaths fatalities.