Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
3 minute read
15 Jul 2021
4:35 pm

Registered for the vaccine? All your questions answered here

Renate Engelbrecht

What you need to know about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and the effect of current riots

All vaccines will produce some side effects. Image: iStock

South Africans have been overwhelmed with emotions as citizens of 35 years and older can finally register to get vaccinated against Covid-19 while, at the same time, the country mourns the loss of lives and damage to businesses due to violence and looting.

Still, those who are able to register for their vaccination are encouraged to do so, in order to help protect themselves and others from the coronavirus and to help halt the pandemic.

Who can register for the Covid-19 vaccination?

As of today, every person in South Africa (regardless of nationality or status), aged 35 and older, are now able to register to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

This forms part of the so-called third phase of the vaccination rollout, which is also the final phase that targets 22.5 million people over the age of 18. Vaccinations for citizens aged 35 and older will start to be administered on 1 August 2021.

According to the official South African Coronavirus website, the aim is to have 67% of the population vaccinated by the end of 2021 in order to achieve herd immunity. Those who are older

How to register for the Covid-19 vaccination

People can register to get their Covid-19 vaccination via the South African Coronavirus website’s Electronic Vaccination Data System or via the Department of Health’s website.

After registering, you should get an SMS confirming your registration. The website also provides information on frequently asked questions, as well as statistics on vaccinations done in the past 24 hours.

Which vaccinations are available?

South Africans can decide between the Pfizer vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson vaccination. Here are some facts on both the vaccination options:

  • The Pfizer vaccine was developed mid-December 2020 and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine came in February 2021, which means the two-dose Pfizer vaccine has been doing the rounds longer and has ammased more information on people’s post-vaccine reactions and symptoms.
  • An emergency use authorisation was secured for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a one-dose vaccine that doesn’t require a cold-chain to prevent it from spoiling as with the Pfizer vaccine.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine works out cheaper and might entice people with its one-and-done option.
  • The Pfizer vaccine has been authorised for use for people aged 12 and older, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorised for those aged 18 and above.

READ: J&J vaccine poses ‘increased risk’ of rare nerve disorder – US health agency

Covid-19 statistics for South Africa
The lastest Covid-19 vaccination statistics for South Africa. Data: sacoronavirus.co.za

Side effects to look out for

According to the FDA, the most common side effects that have been reported for the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine, include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. Most people are said to have experienced more of these side effects after the second dose.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have published possible side effects of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, including pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

Women below the age of 50 should also be weary about the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after receiving a Johnson & Johnson dose.

Current riots’ impact on vaccination sites

Dis-Chem Pharmacies have closed all their Kwazulu-Natal vaccination sites until further notice due to the past week’s unrest. They will be contacting customers to reschedule their Covid-19 vaccination bookings.

Some of their Gauteng sites have also been closed, with the exception of Midrand, Fourways, Menlyn and Centurion. Dis-Chem’s vaccination sites in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape – Bay West, Bloemfontein and Free State are open.

Clicks has had to close 106 of its vaccination sites due to the riots, predominantly in Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng.