There have been reports of severe allergic reactions in a small number of people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. A severe allergic reaction – such as anaphylaxis – is a potential but rare side effect with any vaccine. In persons with a known risk, such as previous experience of an allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or any of the known components in the vaccine, precautions may need to be taken.

If you have previously had an allergic reaction to vaccines or other medicine, you should consult your healthcare provider before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

All healthcare workers providing vaccines are trained to recognise severe allergic reactions and take practical steps to treat such reactions if they occur.

COVID-19 vaccine use will be closely monitored by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and international bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to detect serious side effects, including any unexpected side effects. This will help us better understand and manage the specific risks of allergic reactions or other serious side effects to COVID-19 vaccines that may not have been detected during clinical trials, ensuring safe vaccination for all.