Medicines Control of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has reported 323 cases of adverse events as a result of COVID-19 vaccines, representing a 0.003 percent of the 6.3 Million people who have been inoculated todate.
In an interview with a local publication, MCAZ said a total of 323 suspected COVID-19 Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI), had been reported as of July 8, 2022.
MCAZ Acting Director General, Richard Rukwata said the majority (75%) of the 323 adverse events were non-serious and most of these adverse events (87%) have since been resolved.
“The most commonly reported non-serious adverse reactions included headache, pruritus, dizziness, injection site pain, vomiting etc. Some of the serious adverse reactions included chest discomfort, shortness of breath, delayed menstruation, palpitations etc. These patients usually recovered after a few days,” said Rukwata.
He added that most of the reported AEFIs (commonly known as reactions) were minor/non-serious, with 25% of the suspected reports being classified as serious.
“Of these reports, two (2) were classified as coincidental due to underlying medical conditions that were deemed to be the cause of deaths. Two (2) were classified as B1 (There was insufficient evidence that the vaccine caused the reactions, but the reactions occurred within a reasonable time frame after vaccination). The causality assessment for eleven (11) reports was unclassifiable since post-mortem reports had not yet been submitted. Reclassification of these reports will be done when the post-mortem reports are submitted to the MCAZ,”
“To note is that the distribution of AEFIs by age group and gender could simply be relative to the total number of people vaccinated in the respective age groups however gender, did not necessarily reflect that a particular age group is more prone to AEFIs.”
Meanwhile, MCAZ has since dispelled myths and reports that COVID-19 vaccines were causing Erectile Dysfunction in Zimbabwean men.
“Currently, no erectile dysfunction AEFI reports post-COVID-19 vaccination have been received at the MCAZ. Anyone who experiences adverse events/ reactions post-vaccination should contact their health care provider to get medical assistance if required. They are also encouraged to report the issue to the MCAZ via the electronic reporting platforms accessible using the MCAZ website https://www.mcaz.co.zw/.
“If someone is concerned that they might be experiencing a suspected side effect after vaccination, it’s important that they immediately contact/ visit their health care provider in order to get medical assistance if required. The health care provider can also report the issue to the MCAZ. If the consumer/patient wishes to directly report any side effect they can use the MCAZ’s online reporting platform accessible from the MCAZ website https://www.mcaz.co.zw/ under the online services,” said Rukwata.
Zimbabwe kicked off its national vaccination program in 2021 with only two main vaccines, the Sinovac and Sinopharm from China currently being administered out of the five COVID-19 vaccines were given Emergency Use Authorisation by MCAZ. These are Sinopharm (China), Sinovac (China), Covaxin (India), Sputnik V (Russia), and Johnson & Johnson (Netherlands).