Covid-19: No deaths in Western Cape were due to the vaccine, say health officials

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A vial of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.
A vial of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.
Eduardo Sanz/Europa Press via Getty Images
  • No deaths in the Western Cape have been caused by the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • The provincial health department confirmed that 32 reported deaths had been due to other causes.
  • More than 80% of adverse effects after vaccination were mild, such as headaches.

All 32 deaths recorded in the Western Cape in people who had been vaccinated, have been investigated and no link has been found to Covid-19 vaccines.

The Western Cape health department confirmed that the deaths occurred in people who had received vaccinations, but were not caused by the vaccine.

"All deaths were reported to Sahpra (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority) as per protocol and they were analysed by Sahpra's team of experts in their field.

"In all deaths where the investigations have been completed, the vaccine did not cause the death and the death was confirmed to be due to another cause, such as illness or injury," said Western Cape health department chief operating officer Saadiq Kariem.

READ | Covid-19: Vaccinating children will allow for a quicker return to normal life - paediatricians

The province has had 645 reports of adverse effects after Covid-19 immunisation.

However, around 80% of these were minor reactions, such as headaches, body pain and fever. More than 400 people had already recovered, said Kariem.

To date, Sahpra found no deaths linked to the vaccine.

More than 2.5 million vaccine doses had so far been administered in the province, and Kariem said the department had no concerns regarding the long-term side effects of Covid-19 vaccines.

READ | SA may be at Level 2 lockdown, but your boss must still let you work from home

He added that serious side effects were rare, and the known and potential benefits of Covid-19 vaccination far outweighed known and potential risks.

By the end of August, 12 166 043 vaccine doses had been administered in South Africa, with 86 reports of death (about 0.0007%) among vaccinated people.

Sahpra investigated 40 of these cases, and the remaining 46 were still under investigation.

None of the investigated deaths were as a result of the vaccine, Sahpra found, with most deaths either coincidental or as a result of Covid-19.


If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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