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What’s up with vaccine side effects?

Health • by Paul De Beyer • 05 October 2021
Vaccines are a pretty hot topic right now. Probably the understatement of the decade…

The biggest “new” thing in medical science is the COVID-19 vaccines, and everyone has an opinion they want to share.

The thing a lot of us seem to have forgotten is that vaccines have been around for ages and, for us South Africans, we’ve probably been jabbed several times before we could even walk.

Who started this vaccine trend?

The very first vaccine developed for use against a highly contagious disease was the smallpox vaccine in 1796. It was developed from a bovine (cow) virus called “cowpox”, and is a live vaccine that infects you with a mild form of the virus to help your body develop antibodies.

Does that mean I get COVID if I get the vaccine?

Nope. Not even close. The real scientific breakthrough with the COVID-19 vaccine is how they work. Instead of using the “live” virus method, which is common for things like the flu vaccine, they use harmless protein cells that effectively “tell” your system to stimulate the growth of antibodies against the virus.

What kind of side effects could I expect?

Let’s split this section into mild, slightly more common side effects, and then the very rare ones that might happen.

The most common side effects for all vaccines, including COVID-19:

Please note: the majority of the following side effects are uncommon and can only happen in very unlikely cases. All medication has the potential to have highly uncommon adverse effects, but again, they’re very uncommon:

There are very few long-term, long-lasting side effects to vaccinations, apart from the most important one: giving your body the protection it needs from dangerous illnesses.

Does this mean I will get side effects?

No, not at all. Side effects to any medical condition are unique to the person involved. Some people are more susceptible to side effects, for example, immune-compromised people or those living with pre-existing conditions that are sensitive to medications.

If you suffer from any pre-existing conditions or are on chronic medication, always check with your GP before taking any new medication, including a vaccine.

How does GetSavvi Health help with vaccinations?

GetSavvi Health offers access to Preventative Benefits that include vaccinations against diseases like tetanus, pneumonia, hepatitis A and B, and seasonal flu.

We don’t administer or offer COVID-19 vaccinations, but these are free to all people living in South Africa.

Simply register on the EVDS website and you can simply walk into your nearest vaccine site for a jab.

GetSavvi Health members also have 24/7 access to our Health Advisor hotline where you can directly speak to a licensed and accredited medical practitioner.

They can offer information and advice about anything from vaccine side effects to health issues.

If you want to know more about becoming a GetSavvi Health member, simply click here or call 0861 18 92 02.

What Every Parent Should Know About Immunizations
What to expect after immunisation: Babies and children up to 5 years
Childhood vaccines: Tough questions, straight answers
What to Expect After Your Child Gets Vaccines
Immunisation – side effects
Vaccine Side Effects and Adverse Events
Possible Side effects from Vaccines
Three things to know about the long-term side effects of COVID vaccines
Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 Vaccine side effects
Smallpox vaccine
Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work


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