The South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) has sought to allay fears overtaking a vaccine against the coronavirus, saying the jab’s positive effects outweigh the risks.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize recently announced that the country has secured more than 50-million vaccine doses from pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Delivery is expected to begin later this month.
More than 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines secured for SA:
SAHPRA’s Chairperson Professor Helen Rees says the side effects are extremely rare.
“I think people desperately want to get back to normal. They want to have their normal social life back and we are not going to be able to do that – we are going to be sitting with masks and distancing and limited numbers in facilities – if we don’t get the vaccine out there. What we are saying to everyone is we are monitoring for rare side effects. Will we see a few? Probably with the different vaccines we might well, but to emphasize, they are extremely rare and what we talk about then is benefit-risk to protect the community and to get society back going again – what is that benefit versus the risk of these extremely rare side effects?”
In the video below, Professor Helen Rees speaks about the COVID-19 vaccine developments:
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) said it was aware of the rare reports of blood clots in individuals given its COVID-19 vaccine and was working with regulators to assess the data and provide relevant information.
This follows a probe of blood clots in the brain reported in people given the AstraZeneca vaccine that has caused some European countries to change their vaccine recommendations.
Update on the investigation into the use of AstraZeneca vaccine: Stuart Smith