No South African has died after being vaccinated for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
This was according to the National Immunisation Safety Expert Committee (NISEC) Chairperson, Professor Hannelie Meyer.
Professor Meyer was speaking during a webinar on self-reporting of side effects or adverse events.
Meyer said the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and NISEC received 88 reports of death for those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine between 17 May and 31 August this year.
This accounts for 0.0007% of the 12 166 043 vaccines that had been administered by the end of August.
She says 46 deaths are still under investigation, while 40 have been examined and the causality assessed.
“Amongst the 40 that have been causality assessed, none of those were related to any of the COVID-19 vaccines we are using in South Africa.”
Causality assessment is defined as a procedure to determine if there is a cause-and-effect relationship between medicine and the occurrence of an adverse event, with no other factor intervening in the process.
Meyer explained that 13 people died due to COVID-19 disease.
“They had already incubated COVID-19 at the time of vaccination or contracted COVID-19 shortly after being vaccinated before they could mount an adequate immune response.”
Meyer added that the non-COVID-19 related deaths happened “coincidentally” after vaccination.
She said that the majority of the people that had died had multiple comorbidities including hypertension, heart disease, tuberculosis, obesity and so on.
“They die coincidentally through vaccination because of comorbidities.”
She assured the public that all the data is considered by the experts before any conclusion, adding that there are six unclassified cases due to insufficient information.
“Meyer also pointed out that government has been vaccinating the elderly population, most of whom suffer from chronic conditions.
“What we also need to remember is that the main goal is to protect these people from severe illness, to protect everybody from severe illness, especially the elderly population. However, they are at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19.”
She advised senior citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible.– SAnews.gov.za
For more information about reporting adverse events after vaccination logon to http://aefireporting.sahpra.org.za