Why is getting a COVID-19 vaccine important?


Welcome to Video 7 of our series on Understanding Vaccines with Dr Noluthando Nematswerani, Head of the Discovery Health Centre for Clinical Excellence. Are you uncertain whether to get vaccinated against COVID-19? Here are some reasons not to postpone the decision and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

There are a number of good reasons why almost everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated should register and go for their shot as soon as they can. This will help save lives, livelihoods, and free up limited healthcare resources for everyone.

Can you still get COVID-19 if you get vaccinated?

Yes, you can. Remember, even if you're fully vaccinated against the virus, you can still get infected. The difference is that, while you may have symptoms of mild illness, you are far less likely to become very ill or die. Vaccination has been clinically proven to effectively protect against severe illness and death.

Will getting vaccinated keep you from transmitting the virus?

Clinical studies are currently underway to determine the degree to which people who have been fully vaccinated and then get infected with COVID-19 can actually transmit the infection to others. While it's likely that vaccines can help to lower your viral load - so there is less virus to pass on to others - currently there isn't evidence that shows vaccines prevent the spread of the virus. A recent study published by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that fully vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus to others.

This is why, until we know more, it's important even after you are fully vaccinated to keep wearing facial masks, stay physically distanced, and avoid crowded areas where you can easily be exposed to infection. Watch Dr Noluthando explain it here:

Get support on your COVID-19 Vaccination journey

Discovery's COVID-19 Vaccination Navigator is available for anyone looking for guidance on their vaccination journey. Once you register on the national Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), use our navigator to book for your vaccination at a Discovery-managed site near you. Learn more about COVID-19 and vaccines here, and join the millions of South Africans who can proudly say, #IGotMyVaccine!

All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for education and information objectives only. Discovery publishes content to help to promote a better understand of COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations. The content covered is an overview of key concepts and is not exhaustive in nature. We encourage further reading from other credible sources where necessary.

South African organisations:

  • National Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 portal: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
  • National Institute for Communicable Diseases' (part of the National Health Laboratory Service) dedicated COVID-19 hub
  • South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAPRHA - part of the National Department of Health).
  • South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
  • South African Medical Journal (SAMJ)

International Organisations:

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