WHO CAN GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE

You should wait a minimum of 30 days after recovery to receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

If a person had a COVID-19 infection, then yes, it is recommended to get the vaccine. A natural immune response can be variable, which means a vaccine dose will boost your immunity. It’s important to wait for at least 30-days after recovery to get the vaccine.

The person could have potentially had an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. It is recommended to wait for 30-days from the asymptomatic person’s positive diagnosis. There is no risk associated with vaccination after COVID-19 and a person’s immunity may just be better boosted if there is a period between infection and vaccination.

Yes, those with co-morbidities are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 infections and therefore are likely to benefit the most from the vaccines. They are the ones who especially need to vaccinate to decrease their risk of hospitalisation and possible death.

People with comorbidities have been included in many COVID-19 vaccine trials, which showed good protection from COVID-19 vaccines against severe disease.

Older people with comorbidities are at higher risk of developing severe disease, compared to younger people with comorbidities. Age is an independent risk factor, thus those at the highest risk were prioritised.

Yes, chronic medication is not a contraindication to vaccination. If you have any concerns, discuss with your health practitioner.

Yes you can be vaccinated, a previous history of blood clotting is not a contraindication to vaccination. You should continue your routine medication on the day of vaccination. If you have any concerns please consult your treating clinician

Current recommendations are as follows:

1. COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to women who are eligible to be vaccinated during any stage of pregnancy, and during lactation. As previously recommended, both the Comirnaty® (Pfizer) vaccine or the Janssen® (J&J) vaccine can be offered. Everyone 18 years and older is now eligible to be vaccinated, and women 18 years and older should therefore be offered vaccination during any stage of pregnancy, and during breastfeeding.

2. Consideration should be given to providing vaccination to pregnant and breastfeeding women during routine antenatal and postnatal visits. Where this is not possible, health care workers should encourage pregnant and breastfeeding women to access vaccination at a nearby vaccination site.

3. Health care workers are encouraged to discuss the benefits and possible risks of COVID-19 vaccination with their patients. These discussions should include the increased risk, albeit small, of severe disease in pregnant women when compared to non-pregnant women, reassurance about the growing evidence supporting the safety of vaccines in pregnant and breastfeeding women, the strong immune response following vaccination and the benefits of immune transfer to the baby, and ongoing safety monitoring of vaccine use in pregnancy. Furthermore, that there are no known risks associated with other non-live vaccines given routinely to pregnant women.

4. COVID-19 vaccination is strongly encouraged for non-pregnant women contemplating pregnancy.

 UPDATE OF THE ADVISORY ON RECOMMENDATIONS ON COVID-19 VACCINATION IN PREGNANCY (August  2021)

Most COVID-19 vaccines, such as the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines are not currently recommended for children under 18 years of age, as data from clinical trials have been collected in adults. Trials are currently underway to collect more information in adolescents and children.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a very rare condition and has only been associated with the vaccine (i.e. it occurred after vaccination) in very few vaccinated people. This is different from knowing that the vaccine caused GBS (causality). In the Sisonke study in SA, one person was diagnosed with the syndrome – mild symptoms and he recovered.

People with heart conditions are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease and are encouraged to take the vaccine.