• For over 100 years, vaccines have saved millions of lives.
  • Vaccine developers have used tried and tested methods to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested in several stages:


PACK Home - Lab technician

First they were tested in laboratories…


…then on animals…


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…and then in vaccine trials on tens of thousands of people around the world, including in South Africa.

How were the vaccine trials done?

  • Some people were given the vaccine while others received an injection of saltwater.
  • The people were then monitored to see who got sick with COVID and who developed any side effects.
  • The vaccine developers then compared the two groups to see if the vaccine was more effective than a saltwater injection. They also checked the side effects – those that occurred more often in the vaccine group were likely due to the vaccine.

The trials show that COVID vaccines are safe

  • They do not give you COVID-19.
  • The vaccine does not seem to cause any long-term harm.
  • Some people get mild side effects that last 1-3 days.
  • The vaccine is safe for almost everyone, even if you are frail, unwell, pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Extremely serious side effects occurred very rarely. Out of millions of people, a few have had severe allergic reactions and a rare form of blood clots.
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  • There are several different types of COVID-19 vaccine. Most of them work against the 501Y.V2 variant (B.1.351).
  • They train your immune system to recognise coronavirus and prevent it from making you severely ill.
  • They do this by introducing inactive bits of the coronavirus into the body so that your immune system learns to recognise the virus.

COVID vaccines are much safer than getting COVID-19.