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Why Vaccination Is The Best Shot At Beating COVID-19

Leading medical insurance providers in SA, Affinity Health, analyse how COVID-19 vaccines can reduce risks of infection and the chances of severe illness.


How Effective are COVID-19 Vaccinations?

As of 30 June 2021, the World Health Organisation has reported 181,521,067 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 3,937,437 deaths, and counting.


World Data states that three billion vaccine doses have been administered, a little over three million of which have been rolled out in South Africa.


Bearing the growing statistics in mind, global and national leaders remain hard-pressed to provide an effective solution to the pandemic. WHO has assures the world that numerous steps have been taken to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.


All COVID-19 vaccines undergo a comprehensive approval process by medical regulators. Pharmaceutical companies submit all laboratory studies and safety trials to the government for each vaccine to be validated.


Currently, two vaccination variants are available in South Africa:

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (two-dose)
  • The Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (single-dose) COVID-19 Vaccine


On 17 February 2021, South Africa started its national vaccination program against COVID-19. The program will go through phases.


Healthcare workers have already been prioritised, along with those over the age of 65. Registration for the vaccine is also now open to people over the age of 50, to commence from 15 July.


It’s critical to recognise that some side effects are completely normal after receiving the vaccine. This is simply an indication that your immune system is responding as it should to assist your body in developing virus resistance.


If you don’t experience any side effects, this is also perfectly normal. You need not worry, as this doesn’t mean the vaccine isn’t working or that you were given a placebo.


What are the side effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine?

NICD has confirmed that the common side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are:

  • Injection site discomfort, redness, and swelling
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea


Potential side-effects usually appear within the first 2 days from receiving the vaccine and should subside within a few days. However, If side-effects persist for more than three days, don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people develop red, itchy, swollen, or painful rashes at the injection site.


These rashes, dubbed the ‘COVID arm’, appear a few days to a week after the first shot and can be quite large. If the rash is itchy, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or pain relievers.


“Granted, there is still a lot we are learning about COVID-19 vaccines, and health officials are constantly reviewing evidence and updating guidance. It is still being investigated how long protection lasts for those who have been vaccinated. What we do know, however, is that the COVID-19 vaccine works very well at preventing serious illness and death,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Widespread vaccination means the coronavirus will not infect as many people. This will limit spread through communities and will restrict the virus’s opportunity to continue to mutate into new variants,” concludes Hewlett.


Read More on Affinity Health’s COVID-19 Support Page


About Affinity Health

Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

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