LATEST STATS ON SA VACCINES
ADMINISTERED TO DATE

About The COVID-19 Vaccines in South Africa

Medical professionals from around the world agree that having the COVID-19 vaccine is potentially the best hope for ending the pandemic.

Each year, vaccines save millions of lives. They work by training and preparing the body’s immune system to recognise and fight off germs. This means that if you’ve received a specific vaccination and your body is later exposed to those disease-causing germs, your immune system is able to react immediately, destroying the germ and preventing illness.

BUILDING OUR HERD

BUILDING OUR HERD

SA PROPOSED VACCINE ROLLOUT PLAN

As Proposed By Goverment Based On Vaccine Availability

Corona Virus & Vaccine booklet

Proposed Vaccine rollout plan

Registration for the COVID-19 vaccination has opened for those aged 18 and above.

Register yourself or on behalf of someone from 20 August 2021.

Details needed for the person being registered include:

  1. Name(s) and surname
  2. RSA ID number or Passport number
  3. Gender
  4. Cell phone number
  5. Location details
  6. Where relevant, professional registration details, and medical aid details are also requested.

Vaccine FAQs

Published 21 April 2021

Profmed’s plan is for our members to be able to access vaccines at any accredited vaccination site. At this stage, government is the only procurer of vaccines and any person being vaccinated can only be done in line with government’s rollout strategy, irrespective of which medical scheme they belong to. Setting up exclusive facilities for our members would not be efficient. Profmed’s membership is made up of many healthcare professionals and so it is our preference to support local pharmacies, clinics and relevant healthcare professionals, e.g., GPs, who become accredited as vaccination sites. The vaccination sites being set up by private companies will be available to the broader public.

Updated on 20 August 2021

South Africa’s rollout strategy has gained traction. The registration portal is open to everyone 18 years and older but all the private vaccination sites are now also accepting walk-ins, even if you have not registered on the EVDS system.

Priority will be given to scheduled vaccines and people 60 years and older.

If you wish to register first, visit https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/, or you can dial *134*832# or send the word “Register” via WhatsApp to 0600123456.

Published 21 April 2021

Government is the only procurer of the vaccines and the only party responsible for the rollout. The private sector (across the health eco-system) has engaged with the state to support the administering of vaccines, but the timing and rollout remains in the control of government and is not always predictable as this is influenced by a number of external factors, both locally and internationally. It is difficult for us to commit to keeping you updated in this regard, due to the uncertainty the various challenges pose to the rollout strategy.

Updated 20 August 2021

Visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/active-vaccination-sites/ to see a list of all the vaccination sites. You can search for government and private sites as well as by province.

Published 21 April 2021

Profmed has already identified our high-risk members, i.e. members 60 years or older and members with one or more chronic disease. However, the EVDS system will automatically prioritise who is eligible for the vaccine irrespective of which medical scheme you belong to, or not. Members who are 60 years or older may now already register on the EVDS system but will be prioritised in terms of the rollout strategy. We are also investigating the possibility of high risk members being vaccinated in their homes via our nursing partner networks, but this is in its infancy and subject to meeting the accreditation requirements.

Updated on 20 August 2021

The COVID-19 vaccination has been declared Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB) level of care, and its price was determined by the legislation governing Single Exit Pricing (SEP). The vaccine is 100% covered by PMB benefits and there is no co-payment from members.

Only vaccinations administered to our members within South Africa will be funded.

Updated 20 August 2021

Just like the influenza vaccine, the primary purpose of the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t to prevent an individual from becoming infected, but to minimise the severity of the disease and potentially death.

According to Centre for Disease Control (CDC) data, vaccinated people account for only 1% of COVID-19 hospitalisations in the U.S., and 0.8% of COVID deaths.

The CDC also states that a growing body of evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) are less likely than unvaccinated people to acquire COVID-19 or to transmit it to others.

With so many asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19, however, the chances of spreading the disease to family, friends and acquaintances remains high. Medical professionals around the world therefore believe that the best way to stop the spread of the virus is through vaccines.

Updated 20 August 2021

The Pfizer/BioNtech (a two-dose vaccine) and Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines are currently available in South Africa, with Johnson & Johnson primarily available in rural areas and Pfizer/BioNtech and Johnson & Johnson available in metros.

Are the current vaccines effective against the new COVID-19 strains identified in South Africa and the UK?

Both the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine have shown to be effective against the Delta variant.

Published 1 February 2021

Vaccines go through rigorous testing and evaluation before they are considered to be safe and effective. On average, only 7 out of every 100 vaccines developed are considered good enough to move into clinical trials on humans. Of the vaccines that do make it to clinical trials, just one in five is successful.

It’s therefore critical that many different vaccines are in development, as this increases the chances of safe and effective vaccines being produced for communities across the globe.

Published 1 February 2021

Unfortunately, it appears as though the AstraZeneca vaccine is not as effective against the new strain, although testing is continuing. At this point, researchers are investigating whether the vaccine will work in combination with other vaccines or for specific groups.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, on the other hand, offers 57% efficacy to the new strain, which is not as high as it is against the original strain, although still effective, particularly against serious illness. It’s important to remember that as the virus continues to mutate and evolve it will be important to keep track of it – and to continue researching and testing vaccines.

Published 1 February 2021

No. The authorised and recommended vaccines that have been released do not use the live COVID-19 virus, which means it is impossible to contract COVID-19 from the vaccine. Instead, the vaccine teaches the human immune system to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.

Published 1 February 2021

It takes a few weeks for your body to build immunity after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. It’s therefore still possible to become infected with the virus while this process is taking place – and to infect others in turn. The World Health Organisation (WHO) therefore strongly recommends continuing social distancing, sanitizing and wearing a mask in public while vaccinations are being disseminated.

Published 1 February 2021

No. There is no live COVID-19 virus in the vaccines that have been approved. However, if the vaccine is successful and your body develops an immune response to COVID-19, you may test positive on some antibody tests.

Published 1 February 2021

Experts do not currently know how long people are protected from re-infection, which is why they are recommending that everyone receives the vaccine, regardless of whether or not they have contracted COVID-19 and recovered. To achieve herd immunity, 67% of the population must be protected at the same time. This will effectively stop the virus in its tracks. If you have recovered from COVID-19 but you no longer have antibodies, you could recontract the virus or become a carrier and spreader of the virus.

Published 1 February 2021

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. They work with your body’s natural defences to build an immune response to fight off the COVID-19 virus.

Updated 12 August 2021

Yes. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has officially updated its guidelines on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy and strongly urges pregnant and breastfeeding women to get vaccinated.
Eighteen months into multiple waves of the pandemic and after hundreds of millions of vaccines have been administered globally, the CDC’s data shows:

  • that there is no evidence the vaccine increases the risk of miscarriage when given early in pregnancy
  • that the vaccine is safe during pregnancy and while nursing.

There is now equally extensive data that there are multiple dangers and complications that contracting COVID-19 without a vaccine poses to pregnant women, including:

  • a significant increase in the hospitalisation, intubation and even death of unvaccinated pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19
  • severe cases of COVID-19 have proven dangerous to foetuses
  • prematurity of foetuses
  • increased risk of pre-eclampsia, which could result in premature births
  • increased risk of stillbirth.

Published 1 February 2021

There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 16, although several studies have begun enrolling children as young as age 12 in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.

If you are allergic to any of  the ingredients in the vaccine, or suffer from certain health conditions, it is recommended that you consult with your medical practitioner prior to getting the vaccine.

Published 1 February 2021

It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust, particularly with so much information available on the Internet. Before you consider any vaccine information, check that it comes from a credible resource and that the information is regularly updated.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a list of certified websites that meet strict vaccine safety credibility criteria defined by the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS).

No. Research into the efficacy of different vaccines continues, and experts are still unsure how long antibodies last. The goal is to curb the virus through large-scale vaccination at the same time, and so until it’s clear how long immunity lasts, the safety recommendations remain unchanged. Wear a mask, sanitise, social distance and avoid large gatherings of people.

Most importantly, stay at home if you’re sick and self-isolate if you’ve come into contact with someone whom you know has COVID-19.

Published 23 February 2021

It will pay from the Preventative Care benefit and not from members’ benefits.

Published 23 February 2021

Profmed has engaged with several different manufacturers to procure vaccines. This has been met with the response that the manufacturers will only deal with Government at this stage. Manufacturers have indicated that they will engage with the private sector after they have concluded their negotiations with Government.

Published 23 February 2021

Yes, but will only be reimbursed at the rate charged for the vaccine in South Africa. Members residing in the SADC Region will have access to funding for the vaccine but also reimbursed at the SA vaccine cost.

Published 23 February 2021

SAHPRA is tasked with regulating (monitoring, evaluating, investigating, inspecting and registering) all health products for use in South Africa. This includes clinical trials, complementary medicines, medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics (IVDs). Furthermore, SAHPRA has the added responsibility of overseeing radiation control in South Africa. SAHPRA’s mandate is outlined in the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act No 101 of 1965 as amended) as well as the Hazardous Substances Act (Act No 15 of 1973). Profmed can therefore not provide any assurances regarding the safety of the vaccines, nor accept any liability for any consequences that may arise from receiving the vaccine. This, however, applies to all medical treatment and devices covered by the Scheme. We suggest that you discuss the risks of the vaccines with your doctor.

Published 23 February 2021

This varies from vaccine to vaccine. Some manufacturers have claimed that a single dose will be sufficient, and others have stated that two doses will be required. The time needed between the two-dose vaccines is not clear at this stage. It is also not clear whether people will be required to be vaccinated more than once, or perhaps annually. Please consult your doctor for guidance on this matter.

Published 23 February 2021

No, this is currently not required before you get vaccinated.

Published 23 February 2021

Profmed remains financially healthy and is well-placed to remain in this position in the long term. The final cost of the vaccine is dependent on the agreed price with the various manufacturers, logistical costs, and exchange rate at the time of purchase. Profmed has sufficient reserves to cover vaccines, but this will place strain on reserves in the future.

Published 27 August 2021

Serious adverse events after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, including death are rare but may occur. This does not necessarily mean that the vaccine causes a health problem. Available clinical information that has been under review, including death certificates, medical records and autopsy results has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines. In the event of anaphylactic shock or severe allergic reaction, this can be effectively and immediately treated. If you have a history of an allergic reaction, please ensure that you present this information at the vaccination site.

Published 27 August 2021

Yes, while the vaccine can reduce your risk of catching the virus, breakthrough infection is still possible. However, the vaccine predominately works to reduce the risk of severe infection, decreasing your chances of becoming severely ill and needing hospitalisation. Getting the vaccine also benefits those around you as it contributes to community protection (known as herd immunity). The more people that are vaccinated, the lower the likelihood of virus transmission within the population.

Published 27 August 2021

Herd immunity is important as it helps to protect the population as a whole against the rampant spread of the virus. It also works to reduce the risk of infection amongst those who can’t be vaccinated such as those under the age of 18.

Published 27 August 2021

Yes, Profmed members have access to all private sites but we do recommend calling first to find out if your chosen centre accepts walk-in appointments as each site has different protocols. If you would like to find a vaccination site close to you, please visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/active-vaccination-sites/.

Published 27 August 2021

If you have not yet registered on the EVDS or you are registered but do not have a scheduled appointment, you will still be welcome at any vaccination site. Preference may be given to those over the age of 60 and those with scheduled appointments . If you would prefer to register before visiting a site, you may do so by visiting: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/, typing *134*832# into your cell’s keypad or sending the word “Register” via WhatsApp to 0600123456. Please remember to take your ID and medical aid details with you.

Published 27 August 2021

No. Profmed operates as a funder and our responsibility is to act in accordance with the best advice available, and information from the WHO, NICD, and specialists in this field. We are also regulated by the Council for Medical Schemes and the Medical Schemes Act, which obliges medical schemes to fund the vaccine as PMB level of care.

The different COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for public rollout are all new. They have been extensively tested, but this is a shifting landscape. We will be regularly updating this page based on new data, results and information.

VACCINATION SURVEY RESULTS

The Minister of Health requested for medical schemes to cross-subsidise the cost of the vaccines for people who do not belong to a medical scheme. As Profmed’s reserves effectively belong to our members, we asked for their opinion regarding the funding of vaccines for non-medical scheme members. The results from the survey is not regarded as an official instruction, but merely to get insight from our members.

Below are the responses from the questions asked:

1. Would you contribute to the funding of vaccines for persons who do not belong to a medical scheme?

2. Would you agree to contribute a portion of your medical scheme
reserves towards this funding?

3. Would you prefer to voluntarily donate to a fund similar to the Solidarity Fund for those who cannot afford vaccines?

4. Would you prefer paying more taxes to fund vaccines?