With South Africa’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccination programme now in full swing, Vuk’uzenzele has put together information from the Department of Health to help answer some common questions about the vaccine.
Q: Can the vaccine cause COVID-19 or make me test positive?
A: None of the vaccines used in South Africa contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. It does not cause the virus and you will not test positive after receiving the vaccine.
Q: Is it true that there’s a microchip in the vaccines, that tracks people’s movements?
A: There is no microchip or tracking device in the vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers are required to declare the ingredients to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) before the vaccine is approved for use.
Q: I have heard that vaccines have the mark of the Beast – 666. Is this true?
A: Vaccines have no connection with any religious organisations and cannot be infused with spirits, demons or other abstract ingredients.
Q: Should I get vaccinated if I am pregnant?
A: A pregnant woman is more likely to get ill from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated can prevent a pregnant woman from being severely ill.
Q: Should I stop breast feeding to get vaccinated?
A: The World Health Organisation and the Department of Health do not recommend stopping breastfeeding in order to get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe for use in breastfeeding mothers.
Q: Can I get a vaccine soon after being infected with COVID-19?
A: Anyone who has been infected with COVID-19 must wait at least 30 days from when their symptoms stop.
Q: I have COVID-19 symptoms, is it safe to get vaccinated?
A: You should not get the vaccine if you have symptoms of COVID-19. You should rather be tested.
Q: Can I get my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine earlier than 42 days after my first shot.
A: You are only eligible for your second jab after 42 days.
Q: Do I need to be vaccinated if I have recovered from COVID-19? Can my body not fight the disease on its own, without suffering the side effects of the vaccine?
A: Evidence shows that your body’s response, when you are sick from COVID-19, is much weaker and shorter than the response to the vaccine. Getting the vaccine will give you a much stronger and longer-lasting immune response. The side effects of the vaccine are mild and do not last more than a day or two, while getting sick from COVID-19 can cause hospitalisation or death.
Q: Can people with chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, get the vaccine?
A: People with chronic diseases are at higher risk of getting severe COVID-19. They will therefore benefit the most from getting the vaccine.
Q: If I previously had an allergic reaction to medication or a vaccine should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Anyone with a history of allergic reactions to other vaccines or medicines should first speak to their health practitioner.
Q: How dangerous is an allergic reaction to the vaccine?
A: Severe allergic reactions are rare. An allergic reaction usually happens within seconds or minutes after getting the vaccine. This is why all people must wait in the observation area for 15 minutes after their vaccine.
Q: Is it safe to get the vaccine if you are allergic to eggs?
A: Yes. None of the COVID-19 vaccines have any egg proteins.
Q: I have heard of elderly people dying shortly after getting the vaccine. Is the vaccine safe for the elderly?
A: The vaccine is safe and highly effective to prevent severe COVID-19 disease and death. Through the use of the vaccine, there has been a huge drop in COVID-19 deaths in the elderly in several countries.
Q: Why do some people still get COVID-19 within two weeks of getting the vaccine?
A: You are only fully vaccinated 30 days after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. If you are exposed to the virus before you are fully vaccinated, you may get the disease.
Q: Does the vaccine completely prevent COVID-19 infection?
A: No. Even after you are fully vaccinated you can still get COVID-19. However, the vaccine reduces risk of severe COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and death.
For more information go to https://sacoronavirus.co.za