Here are 15 facts you need to know about the Covid vaccine

Vaccine/ Pexels

By: Lifestyle reporter

SA has vaccinated just under 300 000 front line workers and the government has confirmed that we are set to receive more batches of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine, both of which are said to have a higher efficacy rate in regards to the new variant.

As part of the government’s vaccine rollout, once healthcare workers have been vaccinated, the programme will open up for older persons, those with comorbidities and others in the community.

Principal Officer at Bonitas Medical Fund has set out 15 facts about the vaccine that will hopefully dispel myths and misinformation.

READ: COVID-19 vaccine rollout not happening as fast as government had hoped

How does the Covid-19 vaccine work?

The Covid-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease by developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. The vaccine stimulates an immune response to an antigen, a molecule found on the virus and provides a supply of ‘memory’ T- and B-lymphocytes that help fight that virus in the future.

There are four types of Covid vaccines and they are all trying to achieve the same things:

Immunity to the virus, reduction of symptoms if you are infected and being able to slow down or stop transmission. South Africa is currently using the J&J single dose vaccine but, regardless of which vaccine you receive, you won’t reach full protection until around two weeks after the vaccination. Your immune system needs this time to develop the antibody response.

Is it safe?

Yes. The vaccine that is being used in South Africa is safe and has been given to millions of people around the world. Although it was developed very quickly to save lives, it has gone through the same rigorous processes as other vaccines.

All medical products – including the Covid-19 vaccine – have to be approved by South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) before they can be administered.

Are there any side effects?

Some individuals vaccinated with the J&J vaccine have experienced temporary, mild side effects. They are similar to those experienced with other vaccines, such as soreness at the injection site, muscle pain, chills and a headache. Some also experienced fatigue and nausea. These are nothing to worry about and will disappear within a couple of days.

Can you be allergic to the vaccine?

People who are prone to allergies should inform the healthcare personnel administering the vaccine beforehand. This, in order for them to observed and monitored for a longer period after receiving the vaccine. However, if you experience a severe allergic reaction after getting a Covid-19 vaccine, vaccination providers – or your healthcare provider – can provide care rapidly and call for emergency medical.

Can you get Covid-19 from the vaccine?

No. None of the Covid-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes the coronavirus. The J&J vaccine uses a harmless, modified form of the common cold virus in humans, called adenovirus. The vaccine will help your immune system fight the virus but will not infect you with it.

READ: Study finds black people more likely to take COVID-19 vaccine than white people

How effective is it?

No vaccine is 100% effective but fortunately, the emerging data on Covid-19 vaccines have a high efficacy, at least against some of the variants.

If a vaccine has 70% efficacy, it means a person vaccinated in a clinical trial is around two-thirds less likely to develop the disease than someone in the trial who didn’t receive the vaccine. Due to the severity of the virus, a 50% efficacy threshold was set for Covid-19 vaccine.

Am I forced to have the vaccine?

No. Having the Covid-19 vaccination remains a personal choice as confirmed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Do I need the vaccine if I have already had Covid-19?

Yes, the advice is that you should still be vaccinated even if you have had Covid-19 or if you have a positive antibody test. Research indicates that the natural immunity from having Covid does not last which means the best way of fighting the virus is a combination of being vaccinated and following the protocols.

Will I be immune after the vaccine and will this be forever?

It is too soon to know how long the vaccine will last as it is still being researched. Of the people who have received the vaccine, we know that they have been protected from Covid-19 for at least 4 months. The risk of Covid-19 infection in vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated.

Can you have the vaccine if you are pregnant or breast feeding?

None of the vaccine trials included pregnant individuals, so direct knowledge is limited.

However, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as a number of other medical organisations agree that any of the currently authorised Covid-19 vaccines can be offered to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Is it safe to be vaccinated if I’m living with HIV/Aids?

Yes. There is some evidence that people living with HIV may be more vulnerable to developing severe Covid-19 symptoms and so getting vaccinated is even more critical if you are HIV positive. The Covid-19 vaccinations are the most powerful tools available to help prevent severe disease due to SARS-CoV-2. The vaccines are not live and are safe for people with compromised immune systems. It’s too early to tell how effective the vaccines will be at reducing transmission of Covid-19, but we do know that they are effective at preventing severe disease and death.

What does herd immunity mean?

Herd immunity occurs when a large part of the population becomes immune to a virus, through vaccination or infection. South Africa’s Department of Health (DoH) is aiming to vaccinate 67% of the country’s population against Covid-19 – this equates to around 41 million people – to achieve herd immunity and slow down the rate of transmission of the virus.

How does the vaccination process work?

Everyone over the age of 18 will be vaccinated in line with the Government’s Covid-19 vaccine roll out plan. You have to be registered on the national Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) and then a 3-phase approach (starting with healthcare workers) is being adopted to ensure there will be enough vaccines to meet the demand.

Can you elaborate on the EVDS?

The EVDS is based on a pre-vaccination registration and appointment system. Individuals have to register on the system to get an appointment. Those who qualify will be sent a notification through SMS, with a unique code, informing them of the time and place where their injection will be administered. Individuals will have to present their unique code (received through SMS), their original ID document, valid drivers’ licence, passport or affidavit at the vaccination site.

Where will I be able to get vaccinated?

The process has not yet been finalised, but planning is underway for the vaccines to be available via work-based vaccination programmes, accredited pharmacy and doctor networks as well as from DoH accredited vaccination centres.

Picture: Pexels

    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    Copyright Notice


    1.1 The contents of this Website, including but not limited to its compilation and arrangement, is the exclusive property of Kaya FM, alternatively the suppliers of content to Kaya FM, and accordingly remain protected by South African and International Copyright and Trademark laws.

    1.2 Any person accessing this Website, may not, save for downloading one copy for their personal computers and solely for their private and non-commercial use :

    1.2.1 Copy, disseminate, distribute, advertise, publish, adapt, modify or in any way reproduce the contents of this website for commercial purposes, unless this notice and any disclaimer attached thereto is published in its entirety, or unless the permission of Kaya FM is obtained in writing.

    Privacy Policy



    1. Definitions and Interpretation

    1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 
    1.2. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  
    1.3. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 
    1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA FM at URL www.kayafm.co.za or such other URL as KAYA FM may choose from time to time. 

    1. Status and Amendments

    2.1. KAYA FM respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA FM’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 
    2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA FM through your use of the Website. 
    2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA FM may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

    1. Processing of Personal Information

    3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA FM you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA FM. 

    3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

    3.2.1. KAYA FM will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
    collected will be apparent from the context in which it is requested. 
    3.2.2. KAYA FM will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 
    3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA FM is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 
    3.2.4. KAYA FM will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 
    3.2.5. KAYA FM will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA FM is required to do so by law. 
    3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA FM will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 
    3.2.7. KAYA FM will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA FM for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

    3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA FM may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user. 

    1. Collection of anonymous data

    4.1. KAYA FM may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA FM to collect statistics. 
    4.2. KAYA FM may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

    4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA FM with feedback on the performance of this website. 

    4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; 
 IP address; 
 Date and time of activities while visiting the website; 
 URLs of internal pages visited; and 

    4.3. If you do not wish cookies to be employed to customize your interaction with this website it is possible to alter the manner in which your browser handles cookies. Please note that, if this is done, certain services on this website may not be available. 

    1. Security

    5.1. KAYA FM takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

    1. Links to other websites

    6.1. KAYA FM has no control over and accepts no responsibility for the privacy practices of any third party websites to which hyperlinks may have been provided and KAYA FM strongly recommends that you review the privacy policy of any website you visit before using it further. 

    1. Queries

    7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing webmaster@kayafm.co.za  

    Competition Terms and Conditions

    Kaya FM 95.9: Competition Rules

    • The competitions are open to all persons over the age of 18 years; except directors, partners, employees, agents, service providers, and consultants of Kaya FM, the sponsor and all its subsidiaries and its holding company, if any, as well as all spouses, life partners, parents, children, siblings, business partners and associates of such persons.

    • The outcome of the competition is subject to the decision of the judge/presenter, whose decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into thereafter. Neither Kaya FM, sponsors nor their agents will be held responsible or answerable to any dispute arising from the competition or prize awards.

    • Participants/listeners enter or take part in competitions at their own risk and Kaya FM bears no responsibility for any loss, damage or harm suffered as a result of participation in any of Kaya FM competition.

    • One listener is entitled to winning one prize in a period of 3 months. Kaya FM reserves the right not to award a prize if the listener has won a prize prior during the 3month window period. This also applies to listeners who provide family or friend’s contact details.

    • Kaya FM reserves the right to redistribute all unclaimed prizes if not claimed after 3 months after being given away On Air or on the website.

    • Prizes are not transferable and may not be exchanged for cash.

    • Finalists will forfeit their participation in the competition if they fail to attend the draws.

    • The competition will run during the period advertised on Kaya FM; entries received outside of the competition period will not be considered for the competition draw.

    • Kaya FM and their sponsors reserve the right to cancel, modify or amend the competition at any time if deemed necessary in their opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of their control.

    • By entering the competition, entrants agree to accept these rules and to be bound by them.