South Africa Confirms First Death From Covid-19 Jab Janssen

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South Africa on Thursday confirmed the first fatality from a Covid-19 vaccination.

The South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA), charged with monitoring the safety of all health products, said, “it has been informed of a fatal case of Guill ain-Barré syndrome (GBS) following vaccination with Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen”.

Monitoring the safety of all health products is one of SAHPRA’s key function

SAHPRA said the case was classified as a vaccine product-related event, where immunisation with the Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen was associated with the occurrence of GBS in the vaccine recipient.

“Causality assessment of the reported case was conducted by the NISEC using the World Health Organization’s methodology,” said SAHPRA.

“The events reported in the vaccine recipient were consistent with the case definition for GBS and no other likely cause of GBS was identified at the time of illness.”

GBS is a very rare but severe adverse event that is associated with the administration of various vaccines and other medicines and can also be triggered by infections such as SARS-CoV-2.

GBS is a rare condition affecting the body’s immune system.

Symptoms of GBS can vary from being mild to severe, and include muscle weakness, muscle pain, numbness, and tingling.

In many cases, GBS gets better with no serious aftereffects but in some cases

GBS can become serious and cause paralysis and other serious or life-threatening problems, such as breathing problems and abnormal blood pressure or heart rate.

GBS-associated paralysis can require intense care with ventilatory support, which can be complicated by life-threatening infection.

SAHPRA approved the use of the Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen for individuals 18 years of age and older as a single primary vaccination dose.

Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen is one of the vaccines provided in the national roll-out, which commenced on 17 May 2021.

To date, 9 135 189 doses of the Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen have been administered in South Africa.