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We aren’t sure how long Covid-19 vaccine lasts in the body: Zweli Mkhize

17 May 2021 - 07:30 By naledi shange
The second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout programme is set to start across the country from Monday.
The second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout programme is set to start across the country from Monday.
Image: World Health Organisation/Africa Region

There are unanswered questions about the Covid-19 vaccines being administered worldwide as countries battle through the deadly pandemic.

Outlining the delivery of the second phase of the national Covid-19 vaccination rollout from this week, health minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday touched on one of the unknown but key factors of the vaccines.

“We are not certain how long vaccine protection will last. Doctors and scientists are working to understand this better and we will keep the public informed of these details,” Mkhize said.

He stressed that inoculation was not a 100% guarantee that one would not contract the coronavirus.

“The vaccine will protect you from getting severe Covid-19 disease or dying from Covid-19. However, no vaccine works 100% and we do not know whether vaccination prevents transmission of the coronavirus. It is therefore still important to follow the standard Covid-19 safety precautions to protect yourself and those around you,” he said.

On Sunday night Mkhize and the nine provincial health MECs announced their plans for the latest leg of the vaccination programme which will see citizens above the age of 60, traditional health practitioners and staff employed at funeral parlours being inoculated.

Meanwhile, 27 deaths related to Covid-19 were reported on Sunday.

The health department said Gauteng had reported the most deaths (10), followed by Mpumalanga which reported six, KwaZulu-Natal which recorded five, the Western Cape with three, Free State with two and Northern Cape with one fatality.

The Eastern Cape, North West and Limpopo province had recorded no deaths related to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

The health ministry said the national death toll related to Covid-19 stood at 55,210.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased patients. The cumulative recoveries stand at 1,524,352,  representing a recovery rate of 94,4%,” said Mkhize.