From numb arms, shortness of breath and developing mouth ulcers, IoL reports that these are some of the side effects some healthcare workers say have experienced since receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Nearly 150,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol, which started at the Khayelitsha District Hospital in February, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine rolled out as part of a phase 3b study, to accumulate additional data towards obtaining regulatory approval.
The report says while the majority of those who have been vaccinated have had no adverse reactions after getting their vaccine, some have experienced side-effects which include body aches, headaches and fever after being injected with the vaccine.
According to Sisonke’ safety physician and medical monitor, Dr Simbarushe Takuva, body aches, headaches, fever, small swelling, redness, induration/hardness and a rash after being injected with the vaccine are some of the common effects.
The report says this follows the publication of the article about the Western Cape healthcare worker who has been experiencing headaches, severe muscle pain and fatigue since she received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on 24 February.
The Sisonke Study aims to reach up to 500,000 healthcare workers in hospitals across all nine provinces.
Individuals who are experiencing side effects or adverse effects may report via three different streams which are:
The safety desk call centre at 0800 014 956.
The electronic adverse report form which is available on the electronic vaccination data system (EVDS).
Data is also captured manually from forms that are found at health facilities.
According to the earlier IoL report, a Western Cape healthcare worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “I have been experiencing headaches, severe muscle pain and fatigue since I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on 24 February.”
The healthcare worker also claimed she had to pay out of her own pocket to visit a doctor after experiencing adverse side effects lasting longer than the normal 2-3 days.
However, according to co-principal investigator of the Johnson & Johnson implementation study, Professor Glenda Gray, some of the severe allergic reactions could have been avoided if healthcare workers were forthcoming about their allergies.
“A lot of healthcare workers are scared that we are going to withhold the vaccine and so they don't tell us and it’s always a catastrophe afterwards. We do need to know if you have allergies, so we can manage the vaccine with you,” said Gray during the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation webinar .
“We are not going to withhold a vaccine. We would rather work with you to do it properly and we have had some people, who have had severe allergies who called us before they got the vaccine. We were able to manage that whole process much better. Don't be scared to tell us if you have had any severe allergies from vaccines.”
Full IoL report (Open access)
Full IoL report (Open access)