The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has launched an app for the public and healthcare workers to report the side effects of medicines and vaccines. Picture: Sahpra Website
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has launched an app for the public and healthcare workers to report the side effects of medicines and vaccines. Picture: Sahpra Website

App launched to report reactions to Covid-19 vaccines

By Karen Singh Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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DURBAN - The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has launched an app for the public and healthcare workers to report the side effects of medicines and vaccines.

This follows the temporary suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination roll-out in South Africa after six women in the US developed a blood-clotting disorder after receiving the vaccine.

Earlier this week, Sahpra recommended the lifting of the suspension and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is expected to announce the resumption of the vaccination roll-out soon.

In a statement on Thursday, Sahpra chief executive officer Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela said the Med Safety app was designed to simplify and promote the reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs), including adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) by both the public and healthcare providers.

“Sahpra is utilising this App as one of its strategies to improve the reporting of adverse effects of medicines and vaccines, thereby promoting pharmacovigilance and medicine safety in South Africa,” Semete-Makokotlela said.

She said the purpose of the data reported through the app is to contribute to the understanding of the safety profiles of Covid-19 vaccines and other medicines.

“The app only collects the minimum required personal information that will inform clinical decision making.”

The app also allows the public and healthcare providers to learn about medicine safety and receive news from Sahpra.

“In an era where mobile technology is predominant, this application will be a huge benefit for all South Africans who encounter ADRs.

“The app allows for seamless reporting of all ADRs and AEFIs related to Covid-19 vaccines and will accelerate how Sahpra manages the reports.”

While the app is currently only available in English, users would soon be given a choice of language.

Another benefit of the app is that users would be able to create a “watch list” of medicines of interest, which enables them to view relevant formation.

For details of the app, visit:

http://medsafety.sahpra.org.za/

THE MERCURY

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