"The MHRA has warned that those with severe allergic reactions, such as a severe penicillin allergy, may be at risk of having an allergic response to the vaccine".
Johnson & Johnson said it has cut enrolment for its pivotal vaccine trial to 40,000 volunteers from its original plan for 60,000, as higher rates of COVID-19 infections should generate the data it needs with fewer study subjects.
"As people only started receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 8, and the second dose is due at 21 days after the first dose, no one will have had the second dose by Christmas".
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the staged approach to vaccine distribution "does not reflect anything about our essential quality - it does reflect the vulnerability of people in the population".
Nearly 4,000 frontline health-care workers in long-term care, emergency departments and acute care hospital units will be vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as next week. "That will be the case for the first few weeks of this program, which means we need to bring people to the vaccine instead of the vaccine to the people at this point".
"The other point the United Kingdom health authorities had noted is that this is not particularly unusual with vaccines".
Those side effects can vary, though Grindrod said the most common side effects include a sore arm and a bit of redness - the same sort of reaction you'd see from your average flu shot.
"This is the regulatory procedure foreseen in the European legislation to allow us to speed up the approval", she said. While it must be stored in sub-zero temperatures as well, they aren't as extreme as those required by the Pfizer vaccine. She added that the facilities can hold more than 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and around 300,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Henry said the focus of their decisions has been on saving lives. Obviously they want to continue to look into the particular instance here, but they want to put it in the context of the seriousness of the COVID-19 disease, and the number of individuals who have quite frankly died of COVID-19.
Henry said that at some point, mask wearing and physical distancing measures will come to an end. "The upside of that is that these trials moved faster, and it probably moved us toward a vaccine faster... the downside is there's an very bad lot of virus out there..."
When can I get vaccinated?
"The only thing that is contraindicated with this vaccine [meaning you mustn't have it] is hypersensitivity to the vaccine or any of the excipients [other things in the vaccine], but some people won't know if they have hypersensitivity to some constituents of the vaccine. For me, that's where I'm at - I am really excited for my opportunity when it comes up to get the vaccine".