The President of the South African Medical Research Council, Glenda Gray, says South Africa will see a drop in COVID-19 deaths if it is able to vaccinate most people in the country.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) says it received just under 1 500 case reports following the administration of the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

The reports show that there has been more than 3 700 adverse effects in patients.

SAHPRA reported that 28 people have died after being vaccinated – but it is not clear if the deaths were linked to the vaccinations.

Professor Gray says globally vaccines have been found to be effective in combating COVID-19 and are safe: “At a global level, 3.6 billion doses of vaccine have been given. We know at a global level that they have been found to be effective and safe. We would like a little more precision about what happened to this person. Any death happening within 28 days of vaccination, should get a post mortem. At a global level, these vaccines have been used so it’s unlikely that in South Africa, we going to see more deaths or more side effects than anywhere else in the world. All of them have been found to reduce your risk of being hospitalised or dying.”