I have received my Covid-19 vaccination: What now?

Posted in Latest News

Can I still get Covid-19? Can I still pass on the virus?  Here is what you need to know once you have been vaccinated.

Klerksdorp Midweek, Klerksdorp - The vaccination is a safe and simple way to strengthen our immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 allow a person to develop antibodies and T-cells to certain parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so that when a person is exposed to the real virus, they can protect themselves against infection.

The vaccines protect from severe disease, hospitalisation and death, however, presently it remains unclear whether the vaccine can stop the virus from being contracted or transmitted.

Here are some things you need to know after you have been vaccinated:
Do I still need to wear a mask and practice physical distancing after I am vaccinated? Will I be able to spread the virus?
Yes, presently it is unclear if Co-vid-19 vaccines provide complete protection from infection with mild Covid-19, allowing the spread of the virus. NICD says that evidence shows that Covid-19 vaccines protect from severe disease, hospitalisation and death.
If I have been vaccinated against Covid-19, can I still get the disease?
Although the disease will likely be milder in comparison to those who are unvaccinated, vaccinated individuals may still be at risk of contracting Covid-19.
“More evidence is required to confirm whether Covid-19 vaccines provide protection against asymptomatic or mild disease. Presently it remains unclear whether vaccinated individuals can still spread the disease to others, therefore caution is still required,” reads a post on the NICD website.
Do I still need to quarantine if I am exposed to a case of Covid-19 after I have been vaccinated?
Yes. A vaccinated person should still quarantine (self-isolate) for 10 days following exposure to a case of Covid-19. 
Although the evidence suggests that people who are vaccinated are less likely to get infected after exposure, at this time point there are too few people who are vaccinated for a change in quarantine guidelines.
In South Africa, too few people have received the Covid-19 vaccine, and circulating virus levels are currently too high in order to relax public health measures.
How long does it take after a Covid-19 vaccination before I am protected?
The body’s immune system takes up to 14 days to develop strong immune responses after the first dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. With mRNA vaccines (e.g. Pfizer), there is some protection two weeks after the first dose, but the best protection is achieved after the second dose. 
What are the most common side effects after getting a Covid-19 vaccine?
The most common side effects include tenderness at the injection site, headache, fever, fatigue, chills or
These side effects range from mild to moderate, and may feel similar to a flu-like illness for a couple of days.
People who might experience more serious symptoms like severe headache, severe abdominal pain or severe limb pain should phone the Covid hotline on 0800 029 999 for advice.