covid-19 vaccines

Covid-19 vaccines FAQ: Five facts you should know

Published by Andile Sicetsha

As the pandemic rages on, Covid-19 vaccines have become a crucial tool in ending the scourge of this deadly respiratory virus.

To-date, Covid-19 has taken more than two million lives around the world. In South Africa, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported the following:

Herd immunity is the only answer to beating Covid-19

Governments, all across the world, with the exception of New Zealand and Singapore, have tried and failed in implementing strict lockdown measures in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

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At Alert Level 3, South Africans are still dying by the hundreds and thousands of infections are recorded on a daily basis. Scientists and politicians understand that the only way to defeat Covid-19 is by achieving herd immunity.

The aim of the latter is to vaccinate a large proportion of the population, making it difficult for the virus to spread. South Africa hopes to vaccinate 67% of the population to achieve herd immunity.

Thus far, it’s reported that the Department of Health has secured about 20 million doses, set to be made available as early as January.

Negotiations are ongoing for the acquisition of more vaccine doses but another threat faces South Africa – widespread misinformation.

Covid-19 vaccines FAQ: Answering five important questions

Rising mistrust against the government and stakeholders involved in the fight to put an end to Covid-19 is a big hurdle, one that must be mounted as soon as possible.

The NICD — an independent science and virology body that is not in cahoots with the government to install 5G technology that reads microchips transmitted into our bodies by vaccines — has put together a useful FAQ on Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa.

These are the five most important answers to these pertinent questions:

Will vaccines have to be approved before they can be used in South Africa?

Yes. Before a vaccine can be distributed, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) must assess the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine. SAHPRA has committed to the expeditious evaluation of these vaccines through various mechanisms, that will shorten the timeframe it usually takes to approve a product.

How quickly could COVID-19 vaccines stop the pandemic?

As is the case with all vaccines, most scientists anticipate that COVID-19 vaccines will not be 100 percent effective. The WHO will help ensure that any approved vaccines are as effective as they can be, to have the greatest possible impact on the pandemic.

Why should I get vaccinated?

The reason is simple; if you get sick you could spread the disease to friends, family, and those most vulnerable around you.

Will COVID-19 vaccines provide long-term protection?

The data available suggests that most individuals who recover from COVID-19 develop an immune response that provides some period of protection against reinfection. How strong this protection is and how long it lasts, is not yet clear.

When will South Africa receive vaccines?

South Africa will receive 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in January and 500,000 doses in February of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII).