Co-chairperson of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says preliminary results of an ongoing study by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), show that
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are effective against the coronavirus variant that has been detected in South Africa.

This as 680 more people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications in South Africa in the past 24 hours.

This puts the national death toll at 41 797.

He says data on the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccines is expected to be released in a few days’ time.

“In 44 people we tested in a study done, led by Professor Penny Moore, they found that fortunately, it looks at this point that the T cells together with the antibodies may be able to contain this new variant. So that it does not lead to large numbers of reinfections. In patients who have been vaccinated, their blood is able to kill the 501.Y.V2 variant. So, individuals who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, their blood can kill this virus,” says Abdool Karim.

The Department of Health says the cumulative number of coronavirus now stands at 1 423 578.

In the video below, Professor Salim Abdool Karim explains why it is necessary to take the vaccine:

He also says there is no reason to be concerned over the possible side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccines as data so far has shown there is nothing to worry about.

With the first batch of vaccines expected to be delivered by the end of this month, Karim says the country is progressing past the peak of the second wave of infections.

“Any medication will have side effects. There is no such thing as a medication with no side effects. Most of them are pretty minor, they involve a bit of pain and a bit of swelling at the site of the injection. We have found certainly with the six vaccines that have released their results that the safety profile of the vaccines is really good. So there is no reason to be concerned,” he added.