The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) says there are no deaths that have been linked to the Covid-19 vaccine to date.
With just over 12 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines already administered across the country, Sahpra said during a media briefing on Monday that none of the deaths that occurred following vaccination were related to any of the vaccines.
Sahpra said it had received 86 serious adverse events reports relating to the deaths of people who died after receiving the vaccine.
The reports were received between 17 May 2021 to 31 August 2021.
Of the 86 deaths, 46 of them are currently under investigation while 40 were investigated and causality assessments have already been conducted.
These assessments concluded that 34 deaths were found to be coincidental to the vaccine while 13 people had Covid-19 when they died and one case was a breakthrough infection.
Six cases were unclassifiable due to inadequate information.
National Immunisation Safety Expert Committee (NISEC) chairperson Professor Hannelie Meyer explained that the deaths from vaccinated people occurred when either the person already had Covid-19 at the time or the person contracted the virus after getting the jab.
Sahpra has been monitoring adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), which are reported by people who have been inoculated with the double-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot.
It was also revealed during the briefing that the Department of Health is working on a “no-fault compensation scheme”, which is a fund that will be set up to pay those who suffer damages as a consequence of the vaccine being administered.
National vaccine co-ordinating committee representative Marione Schönfeldt touched on the benefits of the scheme, which include the benefits of getting compensation without having to resort to court processes.
Schönfeldt explained that claimants would not have the burden of establishing negligence or wrongfulness on the part of the department or the vaccine manufacturer.
However, a causal link will have to be established, therefore proof that the vaccine caused the AEFI.
She further indicated that there will be enough funds available to pay out the successful claims.
“The funding available will be sufficient enough to cover people that suffer from serious adverse events and it will be available for the time period until it is determined that it’s no longer required. But actually it will be there for the the foreseeable future as I understand,” Schönfeldt said.