To date, there have been no deaths in South Africa directly caused by the Covid-19 vaccine, according to national immunisation safety expert committee’s, Professor Hannelie Meyer.
THERE have been no deaths in South Africa to date, directly caused by the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the national immunisation safety expert committee’s, Professor Hannelie Meyer.
During an online webinar about Covid-19 vaccination safety, Meyer said that while 2,000 adverse events have been reported, most of them were mild cases.
“There has been a lot of discussion about the deaths that followed people who got vaccinated and none of those deaths to date have been caused by the vaccine. But deaths are very serious and are investigated,” she said.
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) vigilance unit manager, Mafora Matlala, said the health body does not compromise when it comes to monitoring safety and risk with the vaccines.
“When we looked at the adverse events that we have received in the system, there are very few, just over 2,000.”
“If compared to the doses that have been administered which is 9.5 million as of yesterday, when you look at this, you realise that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any risks,” she said.
Matlala said that most of the adverse effects reported on the Sahpra Med Safety app were mild.
Meyer said an adverse event is any untoward medical event which follows a Covid-19 immunisation and which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine.
The most common mild adverse events reported are a headache, joint and muscle pain, chills, tiredness fever, pain and swelling at the injection site.
Here’s what Sahpra is doing to ensure that the Covid-19 vaccines used in South Africa are safe:
– Careful and ongoing review of data submitted by the vaccine developer.
– Sahpra is an active and full member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) programme for international drug programme monitoring.
– Renew international literature safety databases.
– Encourage reporting of suspected adverse reactions and adverse events, following immunisation in South Africa.
– Conduct risk benefit assessments of health products, as new information arises.
– Inform health professionals and the public of new safety issues as they arise.
– Collaborate with Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI) to support collection, and processing of Adverse Events following immunisation (AEFI).