Q & A: COVID Testing and Inoculation

Manor Medical Vitality Wellness Centre

Why Do Vaccines Matter? 

  • Vaccines are an important part of stopping the spread of diseases worldwide.
  • The COVID Vaccination Programme is a priority in the fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Vaccines offer protection to the individual, reducing the risk of infection and/or the severity of the symptoms,
  • Vaccines offer protection at a population level, referred to as *herd immunity. 

South Africa has commenced its vaccination campaign and was the first country in the world to roll out the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

How effective is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? 

  • The vaccine is 100% effective in preventing such severe COVID that the patient could end up hospitalised or dead.
  • This was proved in its South African trials. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials included more than 43,000 volunteers across eight countries: United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and South Africa. 
  • Trial data shows the single-dose jab has an 85% efficacy against severe COVID-19.
  • Important: It can work against South Africa’s 501Y.V2 variant, which dominates nearly all local COVID cases.
  • South Africa has secured nine million single J&J doses.
  • Unlike some of the other vaccines, which require two doses a few weeks apart, the J&J vaccine is administered as a single dose.

How does the J&J vaccine work? 

  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a modified version of a harmless virus called Adenovirus 26, to carry a gene from the coronavirus into the human cells.  
  • The Adenovirus 26 is uncommon in nature so most people have not developed immunity to it. 
  • This virus readily invades human cells and has been modified not to replicate itself.
  • The virus then produces coronavirus proteins in the cells – but not the virus itself.
  • This helps prime your immune system to attack the coronavirus should it enter your body.

What are the advantages of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?

  • It doesn’t demand a deep freeze – and it keeps for much longer.
  • Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech vaccines, require extremely low temperature freezers.
  • Moderna and Pfizer vaccines can only be stored in a fridge for thirty and five days, respectively, before they have to be used. 
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccines will keep for three months in fridge. 
  • J&J vaccine should be cheaper than some other vaccines; est. price in US Dollars.
  • Johnson & Johnson priced its vaccine at about $10 per dose – only one is required.
  • Pfizer – $19 per dose.
  • Moderna – $25 to $37 per dose.
  • AstraZeneca – South Africa paid $5.25 per dose (requires 2 doses). The 1.5 million vaccines will now be sold through the African Union to countries on the continent that have indicated an interest and that are not affected by the new (South African) variant.
  • J&J vaccine may be packaged in Port Elizabeth.
  • If an agreement between J & J and Aspen is concluded, as many as 300 million doses will be packaged in a Port Elizabeth factory from as early as March.

What to expect after having the vaccine?

  • The most frequent reactions are fatigue, headache, muscle ache – which disappeared within 24 hours after the vaccination. 
  • Pain at the “injection site” – the arm which received the vaccination. 
  • Older people reported lower levels of complaints.
  • In trials, only 9% of those who received the vaccines reported a fever and no one who received the vaccine saw a severe allergic reaction.

How long for vaccine protection to kick in?

  • Some protection from infection begins as early as 14 days after the shot, with full protection measured 28 days after the jab.
  • This protection may increase as time goes on as zero Covid-19 cases were reported in patients who’d been vaccinated for 49 days or more.

When can I expect to receive the vaccine?

The vaccine will be rolled out in a three-phase approach, that begins with the most vulnerable in our population.

Phase 1: The country’s estimated 1.2 million frontline healthcare workers. Already started

Phase 2: Essential workers, persons in congregate settings, persons over 60-years and persons over 18-years with co-morbidities.

Phase 3: The final phase will target 22,5 million members of the population over the age of 18-years

The target is to vaccinate 67% of the population by the end of 2021, in order to achieve herd immunity.

How will I know when and where to get my vaccine?

The Electronic Vaccination Data System is a pre-vaccination registration and appointment system.

  • Individuals have to register on the system to get an appointment. 
  • Those who qualify will be sent a notification through SMS, with a unique code, informing them of the time and place where their injection will be administered. 
  • Individuals will have to present their unique code (received through SMS), their original ID document, valid driver’s license, passport or affidavit at the vaccination site
  • All who are vaccinated will be placed on a national register and provided with a vaccination card. 

Manor Medical remains committed to offering the best possible service to its patients. 

  • Only accredited vaccination centres have access to the vaccines.
  • However, the relevant procedures for registration of Manor Medical as a vaccination centre has been initiated, but is not a guarantee when or if it will be accredited. 
  • At Manor Medical Centre, Sr Christine in the Vitality Wellness Centre, Sr Carol in the Travel Clinic and Sr Merle has successfully completed the Covid-19 Vaccination Training for Healthcare Workers.  
  • Sr Christine has started a list of patients that need information regarding the vaccination process. You may phone or email to be added to the list.

 NOTE: This is not a Pre-Vaccination Registration

  • This list is to keep patients updated as best we can on the vaccination registration and roll out programme and its relevance to Manor Medical Center.

Covid-19 Testing for Travel Purposes and for Pre-Hospital Admission

  • Bookings with Sr Christine in Manor Medical Vitality Wellness Centre and/or Sr Carol in the Travel Clinic.
  • Monday to Friday 6 – 12pm (to allow adequate time for laboratory collection and testing).
  • The 24 – 48 hour turnaround time depends on Lancet Laboratory test load and NOT on Manor Medical.
  • Professional Fee and Laboratory charges are payable in full at time of appointment.
  • Medical Aid re-imbursement to members is subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant schemes/plan options. Members remain responsible for obtaining statements and submission thereof to their medical aid.
  • Statement for laboratory charges must be obtained by the patient from Lancet Laboratory.

Adhering to health protocols and having the vaccine remains our best defense against the virus.

Published on March 4, 2021