South Africa will open up COVID-19 vaccinations to those aged between 18 and 35 years old from Friday 20th August 2021. As the government works towards ramping up its immunization drive after a slow start.

What is vaccination and how does it work?

A vaccination is a simple, safe and effective way to protect your body from harmful diseases. It uses the natural defenses of your immune system for it to build resistance against specific infections before you come into contact with them.

Vaccines train your body to create antibodies, just as they would if you were exposed to the disease. When injected with a vaccine, your immune system will respond and start producing antibodies of its own in response.

The healthiest way we have at defeating epidemics is through something called “herd immunity.” This means that if most people are immunized against infection. Then it becomes virtually impossible for any one person or group to pass on their illness before they are cured. Herd immunity is vital to stopping the spread of contagious diseases.

Why should I get vaccinated?

If you are not vaccinated, then that means people around you who can’t be will suffer the consequences. The best way to protect yourself and those around you is through vaccination. People in your community who can’t be vaccinated depend on the rest of us being protected so they don’t have to worry about catching these diseases either.

How safe are these vaccines?

The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines are rigorously tested across thousands of volunteers before being approved by any regulatory agency. With the recent outbreak in Africa, numerous agencies have examined this vaccine for its safety and effectiveness among those who received it to date.

With the additional layer of scrutiny from South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) citizens can rest assured that they will receive a quality product with no side effects or associated risks when receiving vaccinations such as COVID-19.

Possible side effects of the vaccine

Side effects of the vaccine are rare, they include:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Dizziness
  • Fever

These symptoms occur as an immune response to infection from other sources unrelated to immunization that may have occurred in close proximity with it or sometime before or after administration of vaccines.

It may be surprising to know that getting a reaction from your vaccination is good. Some people do not experience reactions, but this does not mean their body is not building immunity against the virus.