Pretoria, South Africa – February 4, 2022: The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla has appointed the Appeal Committee to adjudicate on the matter between the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and an organisation called Free-the-Children Save the Nation, over the vaccination of children between the age of 12 and 17 years old.
This follows an announcement by Minister Phaahla in October 2021 that the government will open Covid-19 vaccinations to children aged between 12 and 17 years old.
This was in line with then SAHPRA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for vaccination of children of this age group and subsequent recommendations by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC).
This has led to disputes by some sections of the society which include Free-the-Children Save the Nation, which formally appealed the decision to approve the COVID-19 vaccine for children which ultimately led to the government’s announcement to vaccinate children.
They argued that children are at effectively no risk from Coronavirus, therefore do not require vaccination for their own protection.
Minister of Health has, in terms of Section 24A of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965) as amended, appointed a five-member Appeal Committee to adjudicate on this matter.
The Committee members are as follows:
1. Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC: Chairperson;
2. Prof. Salim Abdool Karim: Committee member;
3. Dr Stephen Schmidt: Committee member;
4. Dr Herman Edeling: Committee member; and
5. Professor Glenda Gray: Committee member.
The Appeal Committee met on Monday, 31 January 2021 and unanimously agreed that the matter will be heard on Friday, 11 and Monday, 14 February 2022 from 09h00. The details of the sitting will be shared in the near future.