Health experts have reportedly said that vaccinations against COVID-19 do not provide full immunity but are a better option than no vaccine at all.
“None of the vaccines give 100% protection against the infection. If you’ve had a vaccine and you do get infected, then it will be a mild infection, not anything that would take you to hospital for admission,” IOL quoted Dr Fundile Nyathi as saying.
This came after reports on Wednesday said that Gauteng MEC for health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi had been reinfected with COVID-19.
A broadcasting channel, eNCA, said Mokgethi was one of the first people to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in February under the Sisonke programme in Gauteng.
“The MEC suffered from mild symptoms before undergoing a test on Monday… Everyone who’s been in close contact with her has been advised to self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test,” the report said.
Provincial government spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said Mokgethi was not exhibiting any severe symptoms and would remain in isolation for 10 days, according to Sowetan Live.
All COVID-19 vaccines which were approved for use in South Africa provided protection against moderate-severe disease.
Professor William A Haseltine, of the global health think tank Access Health International, said although vaccines didn’t shield the body from infection, they equipped the immune system with a sophisticated alarm system.
“If and when reinfections with COVID-19 become the norm, the majority of people will weather the virus as they would any other cold. You get it, and after a certain period your body forgets it, leaving you vulnerable to its return,” he said, according to IOL.