No reason to fear safety of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – health experts

No reason to fear safety of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – health experts

Health experts say there is no reason for South Africans to fear the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Covid vaccine

This assurance comes after a number of public statements by high-ranking politicians around the safety of Covid-19 vaccines.


Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday that 1 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would be brought in from India this month. 


Public Health lawyer Safura Abdool Karim says the South African authorities ensured the vaccine is safe before moving to procurement.


"Unlike many other countries, South Africa didn't rush to approve a vaccine without evidence that it world work.  


"So the public can take a great deal of confidence that the South African government and South African Public Health Regulatory Authority made sure any vaccine that is rolled out in South Africa is safe and effective in dealing with Covid-19," says Karim. 


Public Health specialist Doctor Samu Dube says the misinformation doing the rounds on vaccines is disheartening. 


She adds the anti-vaccine comments undermine the long hours put in by local and international researchers to find a vaccine that can combat the virus. 


"The challenge with anti-vaxxers, I think it is knowledge, its knowledge about how science works, how vaccinology works, how virology actually works," says Dube. 


The doctor says there is no vaccine that is created against Africans or Christians. 


"To debunk these myths, let us just simplify this when you are getting the vaccine you are just giving your body a chance to fight the virus once it enters your body," she says. 


"So we are giving you a boost to form antibiotics that are able to fight against the virus. To say there are thing inserted in the vaccine is equally an insult to the hours and hours of work that our scientists have invested in researching the vaccine." 


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