Your Covid-19 questions answered

Who can’t have the Covid-19 vaccine?

17 August 2021 - 07:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Children under the age of 18 are on top of the list of those who are not recommended to get any Covid-19 vaccines.
Children under the age of 18 are on top of the list of those who are not recommended to get any Covid-19 vaccines.
Image: REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

Currently, children under the age of 18 are on top of the list of those who are recommended should not get the Covid-19 vaccine. 

According to the National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NICD), this is because vaccine data from clinical trials have been collected in adults. 

“Trials are currently under way to collect more information in adolescents and children,” said the NICD. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that vaccines are not administered to children because they are still developing and growing.

“Covid-19 has also been a more serious and dangerous disease among older people. Now that the vaccines have been determined to be safe for adults, they are being studied in children,” said the WHO. 

“Most children are at low risk of serious disease and vaccinating them is primarily about reducing transmission, which can also be achieved through public health measures, including physically distancing from others, cleaning hands frequently, sneezing and coughing into their elbow, wearing a mask if age-appropriate and avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.”

Others who have been advised to avoid being vaccinated include people with a history of severe reactions to any component of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The WHO recommends the use of the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnant women when the benefits of vaccination to the pregnant woman outweigh the potential risks.

"To help pregnant women make this assessment, they should be provided with information about the risks of Covid-19 in pregnancy, the likely benefits of vaccination in the local epidemiological context, and the current limitations of safety data in pregnant women."

It also suggests that people with HIV infection or other conditions associated with a weakened immune system discuss the decision to be vaccinated with their doctor.


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