For information on COVID-19, please visit the National Coronavirus website. Approved by the South African Government.
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For information on COVID-19, please visit the National Coronavirus website. Approved by the South African Government.
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If you require any further information on COVID-19, go to By clicking on the line above, you will be taken to an external website that is operated and not managed by Adock Ingram.

Why should I get vaccinated?

COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you.1a

Infectious diseases including COVID-19 are easily spread and entire communities can quickly become infected. If a high percentage of the community is vaccinated, it will make it difficult for the disease to spread. This is known as ‘herd immunity’ and is especially crucial for those most vulnerable and who may not be able to receive certain vaccines.2a

If you get sick you could spread the disease to friends, family, and those most vulnerable around you.1a,2b

What is the process?

The South African government will source, distribute and oversee the rollout of the vaccine, distributing it to provincial governments and the private sector.3a

The vaccination system is based on a pre-vaccination registration and appointment system. 3a

All people to be vaccinated will have to register or be registered prior to receiving the vaccine. Once vaccinated the details will be captured on a national register and they will be provided with a vaccination card. 3a

How can I register?

If you are a healthcare worker, you have probably already registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System and been vaccinated.

Since 16 April 2021, anyone over 60 can register to be vaccinated by: 4a,b

Enrolling on the Electronic Vaccination Data System.

COVID-19 Vaccine Registration (


If you do not have access to a computer, you can also do one of the following:

WhatsApp – Send “REGISTER” to the COVID-19 WhatsApp number 0600 123 456

SMS – Dial *134*832* followed by your ID number

USSD – Dial *134*832# and follow the prompts

Where will I be vaccinated?

You will be told where to go to receive your vaccination at a vaccination site near your home or workplace.

You can see the list of active vaccination sites at the following link:

Active Vaccination Sites – SA Corona Virus Online Portal


When it is your turn, you will receive an SMS with the date, time and place for your vaccination.4c

You will need to take with you:

Your unique code received in the SMS

Your ID document (or valid driver’s licence, passport or affidavit)

Your medical aid card if you are on a medical aid.

Will I experience side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Mild side effects are common in the first 3 days and include:5a,6a,7a
  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea or feeling sick

Side effects can start about 6 hours after receiving the vaccine and usually go within 2-3 days.7b

How do I relieve side effects?

Paracetamol is recommended for any pain, fever, headache or muscle ache you may
experience after getting vaccinated.5b,6b,7b,8c

It is not recommended that you take painkillers before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.5c,8d

To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the injection:5d

  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
  • Use or exercise your arm.
  • To reduce discomfort from fever: 5d
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Dress lightly.

When should I contact my doctor?

Discomfort from pain or fever is usually a normal sign that your body is building immunity.

Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:5f,8a

If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours

If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

What about serious side effects?

Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes.6c

You will be observed for 15 minutes after receiving your vaccination to ensure that you are not experiencing a severe allergic reaction that needs medical attention.

Side effects after your second vaccine dose may be worse than after your first dose. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.5g

How long does it take for the vaccine to work?

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines such as the Pfizer vaccine, or two weeks after vaccination with a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.5g

Can I still get COVID-19 even when I am vaccinated?

You may still get COVID-19 even if you have been vaccinated:7c

The vaccine does not contain live coronavirus so you cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine.

No vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine, is 100 % effective.

You may catch COVID-19 before you are vaccinated (but not have any symptoms before the vaccination).

You may catch COVID-19 within the first 2 weeks after being vaccinated, before your immune system has responded fully to the vaccine.

Can I stop wearing a mask after getting the vaccine?

Having the COVID-19 vaccine will protect you from serious illness and death, but the extent to which it will keep you from being infected and passing the virus on to others is not yet fully known. You will need to continue to take measures to prevent infection.7d,8b

  • Wear a mask in public.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly.
  • Avoid crowds and confined spaces.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
  • When in a confined space with others ensure a good airflow ventilation.

e.g. by opening a window

Where can I find out more?

World Health Organization (WHO):

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

National Health Service (NHS):

South African Government:



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Covid-19. Vaccines. Benefits of getting a COVID-19 Vaccine. [Online] 12 April May 2021 [Cited 07 June 2021]. Available from URL:

  2. National Institute for Communicable Diseases.  Covid-19. Covid-19 Vaccine. What you need to know about vaccines in general. [Online] 2020 [Cited 6 June 2021].

  3. South African Government. Covid-19/Novel Coronavirus. Vaccine. Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine. [Online] 2021. [Cited 07 June 2021]. Available from:

  4. National Institute for Communicable Diseases.  Covid-19. Covid-19 Vaccine. Covid-19 Vaccine- How to register. [Online] 2020 [Cited 6 June 2021].

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Covid-19. Vaccines. Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine [Online] 25 May 2021 [Cited 02 June 2021]. Available from URL:

  6. NHS. Health A to Z. Coronavirus (COVID-19). Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. [Online] 01 June 2021 [Cited 2 June 2021]. Available from URL:

  7. Western Cape Government. Covid-19 vaccination. Post-vaccination leaflet. [Online] May 2021. Accessed 31 May 2021. Available from URL:

  8. World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)/COVID-19 vaccines/COVID-19 vaccines advice. [Online] 2021. [Cited 6 June 2021]. Available from URL:

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