The Local Choice Pharmacies and the COVID-19 Vaccine
The South African government has approved 73 The Local Choice Pharmacies as COVID-19 vaccine sites. Click here to view the list of participating stores.
Who can register for the COVID-19 vaccine?
As of 1 June 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine registration is open to all healthcare workers and people over 60. (The National Department of Health will announce when the EVDS system will open for the registration for other age groups in due course.)
How do I register for the vaccine?
Persons over the age of 60 can register on the central Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) database. To register, visit vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.
- When registering, select your preference for weekdays, weekend and mornings or afternoons.
- An SMS will be sent indicating that you have successfully registered and that a further message will be sent with your booking voucher.
- A second SMS will confirm your appointment date and time slot.
- Arrive on time for your appointment. Please be patient, as all customers will be attended to.
- Once you have received the vaccine, you will be expected to wait for 15 minutes. This is to observe for possible side effects.
- Important: If you do not receive your booking voucher SMS within two (2) weeks (14 days), please register again on the EVDS database.
Who will be assisted at The Local Choice Pharmacies?
To date, no agreements have been reached for non-funded patients. As such, only customers who belong to a medical aid will be assisted at The Local Choice Pharmacy’s vaccine sites. Please note that private clients are required to go to government sites for their vaccinations.
Will walk-ins be allowed?
Please contact your nearest The Local Choice Pharmacy COVID-19 vaccine site to enquire about availability.
I have had COVID-19. Can I still get the vaccine?
Yes. The recommended time frame for being vaccinated after having a COVID-19 infection is as soon as you’re out of quarantine. Even if you have had COVID-19, it is still recommended that you get the vaccine. It is possible to get COVID-19 a second time, and the vaccine will help you build up your immune system.
I have had the flu vaccine. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?
You have to wait at least 14 days between a dose of seasonal flu vaccine and a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although there is no evidence that the two vaccinations interact with each other, the 14-day time frame is a precautionary measure to manage the common side effects that come with many vaccinations.
What are some of the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Reported side effects have been mostly mild and brief. They include:
- muscle pain
- pain at the injection site
What is herd immunity?
“Herd immunity” refers to the community or group protection that happens when a certain percentage of the population is immune to a certain disease. It can help stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases like measles, swine flu and COVID-19. The safest way to get herd immunity is through vaccination. The advantages of herd immunity include:
- Potential disease elimination
- Reduced risk of infection for those for whom vaccination may be contraindicated, like the immuno-compromised or persons who are too young to receive the vaccination.
Myths about the COVID-19 vaccine
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine will alter my DNA.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defences to safely develop immunity to the disease.
Myth: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will affect my fertility
Fact: There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Like with all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may, in consultation with your physician, get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
Myth: The development of the COVD-19 was rushed, so its effectiveness and safety cannot be trusted
Fact: There are many reasons why the COVID-19 vaccines could be developed so quickly. Here are just a few:
- The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were created with a method that has been in development for years, so the companies could start the vaccine development process early in the pandemic.
- Governments made plenty of resources available at short notice and in advance, which enabled project researchers to continue with the development of the vaccines.
- The vaccine developers didn’t skip any testing steps, but conducted some of the steps on an overlapping schedule to gather data faster.
Myth: The messenger RNA technology used to make the COVID-19 vaccine is brand new.
Fact: The mRNA technology behind the new coronavirus vaccines has been in development for almost two decades. Vaccine makers created the technology to help them respond quickly to a new pandemic illness, such as COVID-19.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine has been causing deaths.
Fact: No deaths have been linked to people receiving any of the vaccines during the various COVID-19 vaccine trials. One person in the AstraZeneca trial died, but this patient received the placebo, therefore the death was not related to the vaccine.
Be very vigilant of scammers. Only trust reliable sources when acquiring information on COVID-19 and the vaccine.