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JOHANNESBURG, Dec 9 -- South Africa approved the use of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shot Wednesday as the country battles a fourth wave of the pandemic driven by the omicron variant, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said it approved the shot after Pfizer applied to amend the dosing schedule for its Comirnaty vaccine, allowing an optional third dose.
“Following evaluation of the data submitted, SAHPRA has approved a third dose of the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine in individuals aged 18 years and older, to be administered at least six months after the second dose,” the regulator said in a statement.
SAHPRA also approved the use of the booster shot in people aged 12 and older who are severely immunocompromised, to be administered at least 28 days after the second dose.
South Africa has seen a spike in infections in the last two weeks as scientists detected the omicron variant in the country.
According to the latest weekly epidemiology brief published by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), as of Dec 4, there was a 314.6 per cent increase in the number of new cases detected in the country.