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South Africa records one death related to J&J COVID-19 vaccine

Xinhua-Culture&Travel logo Xinhua-Culture&Travel 8/5/2022 NdumisoMlilo
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A woman receives a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in Cape Town, South Africa, on Jan. 5, 2022. (Photo by Francisco Scarbar/Xinhua)

One person has died in South Africa due to Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS) after receipt of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine since the start of vaccination in the country, the national health products regulator said Thursday.

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- One person has died in South Africa due to Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS) after receipt of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine since the start of vaccination in the country, said the national health products regulator Thursday.

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) investigated about 160 deaths possibly associated with the vaccination and only this case was found to be related to the vaccination, its CEO Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela told a virtual press conference.

It, however, said that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh "the very low risk" of severe adverse events, including GBS.

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People walk into a vaccination venue to get administered against the COVID-19 pandemic in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug. 20, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)

GBS is a very rare but severe adverse event that is associated with the administration of various vaccines and other medicines and can also be triggered by infections such as SARS-CoV-2, she said, declining to give information about the age and sex of the deceased citing confidentiality rules.

To date, more than 37 million vaccines have been administered in South Africa, including 9,135,189 doses of J&J vaccines, and 6,200 adverse events have been reported, official figures show.

Many adverse effects after vaccination are mild, and disappear after some time, Semete-Makokotlela said. 

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