Molefe Seeletsa
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
14 Dec 2020
2:49 pm

Regulator urges public to take Covid-19 vaccine once rolled out

Molefe Seeletsa

SAHPRA has also noted that the vaccine could potentially also have adverse effects in some individuals.

A picture taken on 4 December 4 2020 shows the production of Russia's Gam-COVID-Vac vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), registered under trade name Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in coordination with the Russian Defence Ministry, at the facility of Russia's biotech company BIOCAD in Strelna outside Saint Petersburg. Picture: Olga MALTSEVA/AFP

This follows the government’s warning against a “fake news” narrative  after Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng defended his controversial prayer that any vaccine that was “of the devil” be destroyed.

The Department of Health earlier this month confirmed that South Africa would probably take its first delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine by mid-2021.

READ MORE: Solidarity Fund makes R327m down payment in race for vaccine

The Solidarity Fund agreed to release R327 million for initial payment in the global Covax programme, which will see the vaccine delivery covering 10% of the population as the country experiences a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

It was previously announced that there were four candidate vaccines that had been trialled by South Africa, which are produced by AstraZeneca, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer/BioNTech.

Other vaccine producers are also seeking to conduct trials in South Africa.

During a press conference on Monday regarding the vaccine, SAHPRA chief executive officer (CEO), Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela ensured citizens that the regulator would assess the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine before it was rolled out.

“SAHPRA has committed to ensuring an expeditious evaluation of these vaccines once the dossiers have been received, through various mechanisms that will shorten the timeframe it usually takes to approve a product,” she said.

Semete-Makokotlela also revealed that Covid-19 vaccine could potentially also have adverse effects in some individuals.

“As with any other medicine that can have side effects or adverse effects in some individuals while still being effective to cure or control disease, vaccines can prevent disease and also have adverse effects in some individuals.

ALSO READ: Questions hang over Covid vaccine for SA

“SAHPRA has a mandate to monitor such adverse effects and ensure that they are recorded and managed properly so that, should a vaccine become more dangerous than useful for the purpose it was intended for, regulatory action can be taken to either warn the public about newly discovered adverse effects or remove the vaccine from the market in order to protect the public,” she added.

She further urged the public to immediately alert their doctors if they experienced any adverse effects.

Meanwhile, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute executive director professor Helen Rees said the SAHPRA could not disclose when the vaccine would be rolled out.

The Department of Health previously confirmed that the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on Covid-19 Vaccines had been developing a strategy for the implementation of the vaccination rollout.

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