PRETORIA - A video clip doing the rounds on social media, of a man with a throat ailment claiming it was caused by a Covid-19 jab, has caught the attention of the Department of Health.
On Wednesday, the department said it “has noted with concern a video clip circulating on social media platforms depicting a male patient suffering from what looks like a throat cancer - claiming this to be the result of a Covid-19 vaccine”.
All vaccines and medicines had side-effects, with the majority of Covid-19 vaccine side-effects being minor ailments that were resolved within two to three days, it said.
“All adverse events following immunisation are taken seriously, and appropriate action can only be taken if they are reported,” the department said.
The department called upon all people who experience any adverse events following immunisation to immediately report to the nearest health facility or vaccination site.
Each province and district have allocated persons who are responsible for investigating severe and serious adverse events following immunisation within 48 hours of them being identified or the health system being notified of them.
However, there is no time limit for reporting an event.
“Covid-19 vaccines are very safe and highly effective at preventing hospitalisation and death, therefore we discourage members of the public from using other people’s health conditions and life experiences to push their personal theories to justify the unjustifiable opposition to this life-saving intervention,” the department said.
“While individuals respond differently to vaccination and side-effects differ slightly among the vaccines, the most common side-effects of the Covid-19 vaccines include headache, mild fever, chills, pain and/or redness at the injection site, fatigue, muscle pain, nausea, and mild diarrhoea.
“Serious adverse events following immunisation are very rarely caused by immunisation.”
The department said they were most often health events that would have happened regardless of whether a vaccine was received.
“Rare vaccine adverse events can be managed successfully if they are identified early,” the department said.
Uncommon, severe, and serious adverse events should always be reported so that they are fully investigated, including those that require medical attention or hospitalisation.
“Upon reporting the case, the assigned investigators will obtain the medical records of the person who experienced the adverse event, and submit this data to the National Immunisation Safety Expert Committee without making any judgment themselves on the cause of the adverse event.”
Adverse events following immunisation may be reported using the Med Safety App (https://medsafety.sahpra.org.za/) or by completing a paper “Case report form” which may be accessed at https://www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/adverse-event-following- immunization-aefi/.
The form should be returned by email to [email protected]
Alternatively, those experiencing adverse events can report them on the Covid-19 Public Hotline on 0800 0299 99.