COVID-19 vaccine side effects

This file illustration photo taken on November 23, 2020 in Paris shows a syringe and a bottle reading “Covid-19 Vaccine” next to the Pfizer company logo – Photo: JOEL SAGET / AFP

Worried about vaccine side effects? Then you should probably read this…

A lot has been said about Pfizer’s jabs in the past week – and one of SA’s top experts has set the record straight on vaccine side effects.

COVID-19 vaccine side effects

This file illustration photo taken on November 23, 2020 in Paris shows a syringe and a bottle reading “Covid-19 Vaccine” next to the Pfizer company logo – Photo: JOEL SAGET / AFP

The unvaccinated citizens of South Africa have had a bee in their collective bonnet this week, after a report released by Pfizer listed all the possible vaccine side effects linked to their COVID-19 jabs. However, their cynicism has been misplaced once again – and one of our top medical experts has explained why.

Pfizer report: What you need to know about the vaccine side effects

CEO of Proactive Health Solutions, Dr. Fundile Nyati, spoke to the media on Thursday morning to address this controversy. Posts denouncing the impact of these life-saving vaccines have gone viral on social media, creating a huge outpouring of disinformation on several popular platforms.

In our experience, it’s always better to listen to the highly-qualified medical experts, than it is to believe a viral Tik-Tok video. During an appearance on eNCA, Dr. Nyati broke down the Pfizer report into five simple points:

  • On paper, 1 291 listed vaccine side effects does seem a little daunting.
  • But the experts in the report have identified that only 1% of conditions on this list can be classed as serious.
  • Furthermore, that 1% is amongst the rarest of all listed illnesses caused by the vaccine.
  • In fact, Pfizer’s report highlights that 92% of all known side effects are so mild, no issue is even reported.
  • Even a box of aspirin warns us about HUNDREDS of side effects – which don’t impact an overwhelming majority of us.

Vaccine side effects ‘extremely rare, almost always mild’

Around 43% of the entire population has been at least double-vaccinated against coronavirus in South Africa. It’s a rate that lags behind a lot of other countries. Unfounded jab panics, like the one we’ve seen online this week, go a long way towards sewing more vaccine hesitancy – and Dr. Nyati wants SAHPRA to address the matter:

“Look, all pharmaceutical products have the potential to cause side effects. People have to know this, even your aspirin comes with warnings. But it’s important to know that the adverse side effects are very, very rare. The list in the Pfizer report says that just 1% of the reported issues are considered serious.”

“The percentage of serious rare vaccine side effects is so, so small. The list also features side effects that have NOT actually been caused by the Pfizer jabs, but rather, ones that were anticipated. I hope people look at things in a proper context, and don’t overreact. We need SAHPRA to come out and clarify this issue.”

Dr. Fundile Nyati

COVID-19 vs the jabs: What poses a bigger heart risk?

Another disingenuous line of attack coming from anti-vax factions concerns the Pfizer jabs and cardiovascular issues: A large number of refuseniks say they are concerned about developing heart problems as a result of the COVID-19 jab, citing it as their biggest fear from the list of vaccine side effects.

Well, if these people are genuinely concerned about their tickers, wait until they hear about the virus itself: Molecular Cardiology Professor Glen Pyle recently compared the risk of myocarditis developing as a result of the vaccine, and of the infection. Needless to say, you’re much better off with the jab than without it.

“Myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination is rare and the risk is much smaller than the risks of cardiac injury linked to COVID-19 itself. Based on a study out of Israel, the risk of post-vaccine myocarditis is 2.13 cases per 100,000 vaccinated, which is within the range usually seen in the general population.”

“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of myocarditis after infection with COVID-19 is much higher, at 146 cases per 100 000.”

Glen Pyle