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SAHPRA probing deaths of 28 people who died after receiving COVID-19 shots

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) announced that it is conducting a study on 28 people who have died after receiving either the Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson vaccines in South Africa.

SAHPRA was briefing the Portfolio Committee on Health on the country’s vaccine programme and the approval of several other Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday.

According SAHPRA, 28 people died after being vaccinated in South Africa as of the seventh of July.

Sahpra CEO Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela said there are a range of side effects that the regulator is looking at.

Dr Semete, says a comprehensive study is being undertaken to determine if there is any link.

“…. So these are very complex studies that will be conducted. So autopsies will be done. The history of the individual as to what other medication they were taking. It’s quite an extensive process that is being undertaken but we while the process is being done we do note these fatalities,” said Dr Semete.

The regulator says there is no evidence at this stage that the individuals had died as a direct result of taking these vaccines.

“So the current findings is that you know even with the evidence from all these pool studies it is still inconclusive whether ivermectin does provide a clinical benefit or not. So it’s still very much in its clinical equipoise. And the most recent studies this one from Colombia wherein there was no significant difference between individuals that were put on ivermectin and those on Placebo in terms of the severity of the disease and hospitalisation,” added Dr Semete.

So far, around 5.5 million South Africans have been vaccinated.

According to the National Health Department’s figures, just over one million people have received the J&J vaccine and 4.5 million the Pfizer jab.

The department of health announced that more than 1.5 million South Africans between the ages of 35 and 49 have already registered for their COVID-19 vaccination.

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