This finding comes at a time where claims of vaccine-related deaths have been gaining traction on social media with little evidence to show that jabs and sudden deaths are linked.

According to the National Department of Health on Sunday, a total of 9 387 129 doses have been administered with just over four million – 4 082 852 – adults fully vaccinated which accounts for 10.2% of the population. The vaccine rollout is believed to have slowed down after recent days as South Africa slowly creeps towards the 10-million mark.

Deaths not vaccine-related

SAPHRA said it had received 3 730 reports of adverse events following immunisation and 279 reports of what it terms adverse events of special interest.

“To date, 29 investigations have been completed, of which 26 were coincidental to vaccination. This means that these deaths were not related to the vaccination. Three cases are unfortunately unclassifiable because there was either no information available about the case or the information was completely inadequate; hence causality assessment could not be conducted,” said SAPHRA spokesperson, Yuven Gounden, according to media reports.

Adverse side effects

Side effects after getting vaccinated are normal and are to be expected and are normal. Research has shown that the vaccine-related side effects usually last for a few days to two weeks. Side-effects that last for a longer period of time should be reported to one’s nearest healthcare facility.

An adverse side effect, as defined by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), can be understood as any detrimental health event which happens after a person receives a vaccine. A ‘health event’ is a symptom (something which a person complains of, for example, a ‘headache’ or ‘difficulty seeing’) or a ‘sign’ (something a health practitioner notices about a patient, for example, raised blood pressure).

“One should not assume that because the event happened after vaccination, it was caused by the vaccination. Hence, submission of all necessary information about the case is extremely important because causality assessment can only be done if sufficient information is available,” he added.

In the case of a death which occurred after vaccination, an autopsy or post-mortem examination is necessary including the clinical history of the deceased, any comorbidities and allergies or concomitant medicines taken,” said Gounden.

He further explained: “If a person is buried and their death certificate states “natural causes”, and no post mortem examination was conducted, it becomes impossible to determine any causality.”

People who get adverse side effects after getting the Covid-19 vaccine are encouraged to report this to the regulator.

Gounden said once the reports are received, they are investigated, preferably within 48 hours. There are currently 23 cases under investigation. – Health-e News