The CEO of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), Tumi Semete, says there is no evidence that any deaths can be attributed to COVID-19 vaccines.
SAHPRA appeared before Parliament’s Health Committee to among other issues, discuss the efficacy of vaccines. The authority says 32 deaths were investigated, of which 30 were found to be coincidental, while for the other two, not sufficient information was available.
Semete explains that the deaths were not found to have direct links to the vaccines administered.
“What we mean is that the deaths are not related to being vaccinated, in 98% of those cases they were elderly people that received vaccinations early on. Again, we did detailed assessments, age, comorbidities and any medication that they are on,” says Semete.
Last week, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the department is very concerned about vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaccination and fake news campaigners.
Phaahla and other senior officials from the department appeared before Parliament’s Health Portfolio Committee on the 25th of August to provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine acquisition and roll-out programme.
Concerns over COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy:
The chairperson of the SAHPRA, Helen Rees, says the new COVID-19 variant C.1.2 is being monitored to ensure that vaccines remain effective against it.
The variant, present in eight provinces, has also been detected elsewhere in the world.
Rees says, “Not what Delta variant did, to take off. The changes in this are that the mutation suggests it could be more transmissible or evading our immune system, that is why watching closely.”
A look at dos and don’ts before, after COVID-19 vaccination: