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Special requests for Covid-19 vaccines are open, here’s who can apply

Special requests for Covid-19 vaccines are open, here’s who can apply

The Department of Health has opened special Covid-19 vaccine requests and will consider individuals who are not currently eligible to be vaccinated under the national vaccine roll-out.

The circular was issued by deputy director-general of the department, Dr Nicholas Crisp, on Monday.

Those who are are not yet eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine can apply to be considered by filling out a form and emailing the department.

Here are the special groups who can apply for their shots.

– Ministers, deputy ministers, premiers, members of the executive council (MEC), and their direct staff.

– Individuals where vaccination is requested by the presidency, the Minister of Health or the director-general of Health.

– South African diplomats and their families who are posted overseas (during visits to the country).

– Individuals who need to travel outside of South Africa, for business or work-related travel, to study at an accredited educational institution, sportsmen/women who need to travel outside of South Africa to represent the country, or those accessing medical care.

– Individuals who have received one dose of Pfizer vaccine outside of South Africa more than 42 days ago will be eligible to receive a second dose of the vaccine.

Applicants need to complete a form and send a letter of request outlining their circumstances to vaccine.admin@health.gov.za.

Crisp said that all requests will be approved by a senior manager in the department and the criteria for special groups and individuals will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Infectious diseases expert at Wits University, Professor Francois Venter, said the vaccine roll-out programme is unequal.

“Increasingly, we are seeing severe vaccine supply inequity – the rich, powerful, connected, those on medical aids, and those able to negotiate … get vaccinated, while the poor, uninsured, those without airtime, unable to travel and rural, are left behind,” he said.

Founder and director of the Health Justice Initiative (HJI), Fatima Hassan, said in a series of Tweets that the special health risk groups have excluded those with co-morbidities.

“We cannot run a vaccine roll-out like this, it has to be based on public health principles and equity, risk, need. These are not all special health risk groups, co-morbidities are not listed here,” she said.




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