The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) says it has received reports from some of its members that some health facilities advised them not to go public if they experience side effects after getting vaccinated.

As the second phase of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout gets under way across the country, health experts say those who are getting the shot should understand that vaccines may cause side effects.

They say not everyone will experience side effects, but most people who do will have flu-like symptoms that quickly disappear. Side effects can deter people from getting vaccinated.

Denosa acting general-secretary Cassim Lekhoathi says, “This issue of side-effects is a common expectation. Whenever you take medication, any type of medication, there’s a possibility that you will have side-effects and then you will react…”

“In this case, we are advised that some people have been told that they must not express or talk about their experience of the side-effects because it will sort of discouraging other people from getting the vaccine, which I think it is not well thought of, if the patient reacts, you need to act,” adds Lekhoathi.

Denosa concerned that nurses are being warned not to discuss COVID-19 side effects:

Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines professor Barry Schoub says concealing side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine is unnecessary.

Schoub says if the side-effects are severe, they must be investigated.

“Sometimes these occur soon after the vaccine is received, these are normal health events and all of these must be investigated. But what you need to kind of establish is if these happen at the same time or whether there is a cause. And eventually, all these cases must be investigated to establish whether there is a causal relationship between the vaccine and that particular side-effect. So, they are extremely safe indeed,” says Schoub.

‘Vaccine does not provide full immunity’

A medical expert says vaccinations against COVID-19 do not provide full immunity but are a better option than no vaccines at all.

Dr Fundile Nyati was speaking earlier on Morning Live, following news that Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi is currently in self-isolation after testing positive for the virus.

Dr Mokgethi was one of the first people to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine back in February, under the Sisonke programme in Gauteng.

Dr Fundile Nyati on Morning Live: