Allergies Are Not Vaccine Side Effects- Dr Chivaura

FAMILY Practitioner and medical expert Dr Audrey Chivaura says not all reactions being experienced after getting COVID-19 jabs were side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines but could be as a result of underlying allergies.

By Michael Gwarisa

By definition, an allergy is a condition in which the immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance. At times the immune system reacts even to a substance or exposure to something that is not even harmless.

Dr Chivaura said people should make an effort to know their allergic history before taking vaccines as it also helps to clear misinformation around vaccines.

There is no medication which has no side effects, we always weigh the risk and remember, there is a difference between side effects and an allergy.  We all get Penicillin injections and yet there are so many people who react to Penicilin. Its just like eating fish, you might be the only one in the family who may react after eating fish but that does not mean fish is poisonous or dangerous.

“Vaccines are the same, there are some people who are just allergic even to a needle’s prick itself. They react, they get swollen all over, they cannot breathe, what we call a sensitivity reaction. Those are the allergies that are known otherwise, the adverse reactions are so mild to all vaccines, from Missiles, to chicken pox they are the same. You can get pain on the injection side, you can get rash on the injection side, it can swell and can bleed a little bit, you can feel pain all over the hand that would have been injected but within a day or two, even with no paracetamol, the reaction recedes,” said Dr Chivaura.

Dr Chivaura added that some people feel dizzy or a sour throat or feel hot but to counter some of these reactions, she urged people use ice packs to stop swelling, take a nice warmish bath to cool down, drink lots of fluids and take paracetamol if they get a fever and should the reactions persist, she urged people to refer back to the vaccination center.

“The vaccine is safe, no nobody has died from it and lets not forget that there are other people who will still die of COVID-19 and some will die of other conditions. It doesn’t mean that if you get this shot and you die it is because of the vaccine. No, nobody has died from it.

“These reactions are not anything to panic about. That is why we tell people to expect that the reactions may happen and sometimes people react due to panic and anxiety. And then when you reassure them, most of them just call to say the reaction has receded. Its nothing to worry about, yet it can happen and if you think its too much, just refer back to the health a vaccination center.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has to date vaccinated a total 205 275 and 406 citizens have received their second jab.

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