Vaccine FAQs

IF I’VE HAD COVID, HOW LONG DO I NEED TO WAIT BEFORE I HAVE A VACCINE?
  • If you had a mild infection, you should wait 30 days after recovery (i.e. 30 days after the 10 days isolation time).
  • If you had a severe infection (requiring Oxygen or hospitalization), you should wait 90 days after recovery to have a vaccine.
  • If you had one dose of Pfizer, followed by a Covid infection a few weeks later, the infection serves as a booster dose and there is no rush to have the  second vaccine. You could however have it after 90 days.
  • ** If you are a contact of someone infected with Covid and should be in quarantine, you shouldn’t go for a vaccine until quarantine is up. (A negative test at this time could be a false negative, and you could still be incubating the virus.) This is dangerous both to other people at the vaccine station and potentially to the person having the vaccine.
IS MY SINGLE DOSE J&J VACCINE EFFECTIVE?
  • This week, J&J came out with data showing that the vaccine is effective against Covid infections from the Delta variant (55 to 60% effective) and offers 85% protection against severe disease (100% after day 49). This is better than the data for the beta (original South African) variant, which is important as delta is the predominant strain we are now seeing.
  • Remember that 60% effectiveness still means that 4 out of 10 vaccinated people can still become infected with Covid-19 (but should have mild infections).
  • The J&J data showed that the vaccine continues to work over time, with strong responses for up to 8 months (hopefully longer, but this is the length of time that data is available for so far).
  • J&J demonstrated both a strong neutralising antibody response as well as a persistent robust cellular immune response.
  • Sisonke also released a statement on 1st July. They reported that, of the breakthrough infections (positive COVID-19 test more than 28 days after vaccine) : 94% were mild, 4% were moderate and only 2% were severe.
  • Breakthrough infections after the Sisonke trial should be reported on https://is.gd/sisonke_bti\
  • Sisonke also reinforced that immunity from the vaccine increases over time and retains effectiveness against variants of concern, such as beta and delta.
WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD A PFIZER VACCINE GETTING INFECTED?
  • Pfizer is a two dose vaccination regime and we have unfortunately seen many people infected in the first couple of weeks after their first vaccination. This may be because they have contracted COVID in the queues, or because they have let their guards down thinking they are protected, or simply because the delta strain is so prevalent and so contagious.
  • The Pfizer vaccine shows only 33% protection from getting infected after one dose, but 80% protection against hospitalisation after one dose, and 94% protection against hospitalisation from the Delta strain after two doses.
  • Remember that full immunity from the Pfizer vaccine is only achieved two weeks after the second dose.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT BEFORE GETTING MY SECOND DOSE OF PFIZER?
  • New research from the UK showed that a longer than 3 week dose interval produced better and longer lasting immunity.
  • Taking this into account, as well as the fact that more people could receive at least one dose in a short time, the South African guideline was changed to extend the dosage interval from 21 to 42 days.
  • Some vaccination sites are now using a 35 day interval.
  • As long as your return date is after 21 days and up to 42 days, anywhere in between is a safe and effective interval.
IF I HAD A JOHNSON AND JOHNSON VACCINE, CAN I HAVE A PFIZER BOOSTER TO BE MORE PROTECTED?
  • Prof Grey and Prof Bekker, the principal investigators from the Sisonke (J&J healthcare worker) trial stated last week that they believed that recommending booster top-ups with another vaccine is premature as the vast majority of breakthrough infections from Sisonke are mild.
  • Several doctors have suggested that when available, booster doses of another J&J or with an mRNA vaccine will help to establish better immunity. Trials with mixing different vaccines are ongoing.
  • However, when available, this booster dose needs to be prioritised for doctors and nurses working in Covid wards and ICUs who are at highest risk.
  • One dose of J&J is good protection against severe illness. *It is much more important at this time for more South Africans to get one vaccination, than for those who have already had the opportunity to have protection from one vaccine to get a booster.
WHAT ABOUT THE NEW SINOVAC VACCINE?
  • SAHPRA has now registered the third COVID vaccine for emergency use in South Africa, subject to certain conditions, including the final results of ongoing clinical studies. This vaccine was also recently registered by WHO, and there has been a lot of political pressure to register it in this country.
  • Sinovac is an inactivated whole virion, two dose vaccine, administered 4 weeks apart and will be registered for people between 18 and 59 years old.
  • We still await robust studies proving efficacy of Sinovac, particularly against the delta variant.

Kaelo Collateral

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Fully Vaccinated, get your Digital Certificate in 3 Steps.

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Avoid Misinformation, trusted SA sources of information.

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Symptoms of COVID-19 or the vaccine?

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Move to adjusted alert level two.

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The different symptoms of the Delta variant.

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Why you should get your vaccine to protect your community.

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5 things you need to know about vaccine safety.

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5 Things that are not reasons to avoid COVID-19 vaccination.

Covid Vaccine Instagram

COVID-19 Vaccination Instagram Post

Procedures for Self-Quarantine

Procedures for Self-Quarantine under Covid-19

Protecting the unvaccinated

Poster – “Protecting the unvaccinated”.

Steps to Register (Navy)

Poster – “Steps to Register and Receive your Vaccine”.

Steps to Register (Pink)

Poster – “Steps to Register and Receive your Vaccine”.

Steps to Register (Video)

Video – “Steps to Register for the COVID-19 Vaccine”.

Vaccination Day (Navy)

Tips for What to Expect on Vaccination Day.

Vaccination Day (Pink)

Tips for What to Expect on Vaccination Day.

COVID-19 Prevention Tips

Poster – “7 Everyday COVID-19 Prevention Tips”.

Vaccine - What to Expect (Navy)

Poster – “What to Expect After the Vaccine”.

Vaccine - What to Expect (Pink)

Poster – “What to Expect After the Vaccine”.

Vaccine Facts and Myths

Poster “Facts and Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Delta Variant (Navy)

COVID-19 Delta Variant – Did you know?

Delta Variant (Pink)

COVID-19 Delta Variant – Did you know?

What to Expect

What to expect after your vaccination (video)

What to Expect

What to expect on vaccination day (video)

Myths & Facts

COVID-19 Vaccine – Myths and Facts (video)

Stop the Spread

Download the “Stop the Spread” poster (English)

External Resources

Coronavirus and Vaccines

Download a complete guide.

Business for SA Update

B4SA: Weekly Update 12 June 2021

JJ Vaccine Statement

Department of Health statement on the status of J&J rollout.

Business for SA Update

B4SA: Weekly Update 4 June 2021

Pfizer Vaccine Dosage

Department of Health statement on the Prizer Vaccine.

SA Vaccine Plan

Timeline of planned rollout, updated on 21 May 2021.

Registering on EVDS

Register for your vaccine dose on the Electronic Vaccine Data System.

SA Vaccine Updates

Vaccine News, Updates & Information Portal

SA COVID Toolkits

Guides, printables, videos and more available for download.

Vaccination Sites

View a list of the active vaccination sites.

Daily Case Updates

Keep up to date with the daily cases in South Africa.

SA COVID Portal

SA COVID-19 Online Resource and News Portal

The documents and information on this site were based on information available in March and April 2020 as well as vaccine information accurate as of June 2021. COVID-19 is an evolving pandemic with future regulations and information that may affect the contents on this website.

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