UKRAINE - 2021/02/05: In this photo illustration a
A Johnson & Johnson logo is seen in front of a medical syringe and a vial with coronavirus vaccine.
  • The first of millions of Johnson & Johnson vaccines were administered this week in South Africa.
  • In trials, only 9% of those who received the vaccines reported a fever.
  • Some other complaints included fatigue, headache and muscle ache - which "generally" disappeared within 24 hours after the vaccination. 
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This week, healthcare workers across the country started receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as part of South Africa’s first vaccination drive.

The country has secured nine million doses of the Johnson & Johnson jab, which in South African trials showed that it may prevent death and serious illness due to Covid-19. 

READ | SA is the first country to roll out Johnson & Johnson vaccine - what you need to know about the jab

What can you expect after you receive the vaccine?

Last month, Johnson & Johnson reported its findings on reactions to the vaccine from its trials that included almost 44,000 volunteers across eight countries: the US, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and South Africa.   

It found that the most frequent reactions were fatigue, headache, muscle ache and pain at the “injection site” – the arm which received the vaccination. Older people reported lower levels of complaints.

Side effects were mostly experienced on the day of immunisation or the next day, and “generally” disappeared within 24 hours.

Only 9% of those who received the vaccine as part of Johnson & Johnson trials reported a fever – and only 0.2% suffered a grade 3 fever (above 39.0°C and below 40.0°C), the company reported at the end of January.

No one who received the vaccine saw a severe allergic reaction. There were more “serious adverse events” among people who received the placebo as part of the trial than those who received the vaccine.

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