Citizen Reporter
Reporter
3 minute read
28 Jan 2021
1:33 pm

EXPLAINER: The different Covid-19 vaccines and their side effects

Citizen Reporter

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday that the first one million doses would arrive on Monday, 1 February.

Picture for illustration: AFP/File/Thibault Savary

South Africans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines, which are set to land soon.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday that the first one million doses would arrive on Monday, 1 February.

Currently, only the AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the country to prevent Covid-19 infections.

Here are some of the different Covid-19 vaccine options that South Africa will be considering:

AstraZeneca vaccine

  • Trade name: SII product called Covishield
  • Technology: Viral Vector (Genetically Modified Version)
  • Efficacy: 62%-90% (different trials)
  • Number of doses required: 2
  • Dose interval: 4-12 weeks (12 weeks recommended by the MAC) administered in the deltoid muscle with needle/syringe
  • Fully liquid vaccine
  • Storage: 2°C-8°C
  • Side effects: Mild to moderate in severity and usually resolve within a few days of vaccination injection site tenderness; injection site pain, headache, fatigue; myalgia, malaise; pyrexia, chills; and arthralgia, nausea.

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Pfizer vaccine

  • Technology: mRNA
  • Efficacy: 95%
  • Number of doses required: 2
  • Dose interval: 21 days apart administered in the deltoid muscle with needle/syringe Vaccine require reconstitution
  • Storage: -70°C during storage and distribution, at vaccination site could be stored at 2°C-8°C for 120 hours
  • Side effects include fever, chills, headache and tiredness throughout the body were more common after the second dose of the vaccine. Most side effects were mild to moderate.
  • Allergic reaction could occur within four hours of getting vaccinated, including symptoms such as hives, swelling, or wheezing (respiratory distress). This includes allergic reactions to polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polysorbate.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 vaccines have not yet arrived in SA, health department confirms

Johnson & Johnson vaccine

  • Technology: Ad26 Viral vector vaccine
  • Efficacy: Currently in phase 3. Target efficacy 70%
  • Number of doses required: 1
  • Administered in the deltoid muscle with syringe
  • Fully liquid vaccine
  • Storage: 2°C-8°C
  • Side effects: Initial safety information released for the vaccine shows that the most common reactions after the vaccine was administered included injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle aches.
  • Phase III clinical trial in progress

Sinovac vaccine

  • Technology: Inactivated vaccine
  • Efficacy: 50%-70% (different trial results)
  • Number of doses required: 2
  • Dose interval: 14-day interval
  • Administered in the deltoid muscle with needle/syringe
  • Fully liquid vaccine
  • Storage: 2°C-8°C
  • Side effects: Most adverse reactions were mild, with the most common symptom being injection-site pain.

ALSO READ: How to get the Covid-19 jab, with or without medical aid

Moderna vaccine

  • Technology: mRNA
  • Efficacy: 94.5%
  • Number of doses required: 2
  • Dose interval: 28-day interval
  • Administered in the Deltoid muscle with syringe
  • Fully liquid
  • Storage: -20°C distribution storage at vaccination site could be stored at 2°C-8°C for 30 days
  • Side effects (such as fever, chills, tiredness, and headache) throughout the body were more common after the second dose of the vaccine. Most side effects were mild to moderate.
  • Allergic reactions could occur within four hours of getting vaccinated, including symptoms such as hives, swelling or wheezing (respiratory distress).
  • This includes allergic reactions to polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polysorbate.

Vaccine information.

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