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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can I get Covid-19 if I have had the vaccine?

07 July 2021 - 07:06 By cebelihle bhengu
Vaccination against Covid-19 does not guarantee 100% protection against infection.
Vaccination against Covid-19 does not guarantee 100% protection against infection.
Image: Reuters/ KIM KYUNG-HOON/ File photo

You can get Covid-19 even after receiving the vaccine.

This has become one of the main concerns among South Africans as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections. 

In the last 24 hours, the government in partnership with the private sector administered 164,874 vaccines, with Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape administering an accumulative total of 123,739 vaccines. 

The ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 has warned that because vaccines do not kick in immediately after they are administered, people can get infected after getting the jab. 

The Johnson& Johnson (J&J) vaccine can begin to work effectively after four weeks while the Pfizer vaccine can take up to two weeks to be effective after receiving the second dose. 

“No vaccine is 100% effective. Therefore, even vaccinated people are still at risk of infection and mild to severe disease. If a vaccinated person does become infected, we don’t know if the vaccine will prevent transmission of the coronavirus to an uninfected person.

“We will only be able to return to our pre-pandemic life once herd immunity has been reached and the circulation of the virus has been controlled,” the committee said.

Gauteng health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi tested positive for Covid-19 in May despite being one of the first people to receive the J&J vaccine during the Sisonke Programme in the province.

The health department’s deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay warned last week that vaccination does not prevent Covid-19 for people who previously tested positive for the Beta variant as they can still get infected with the now dominant Delta variant.