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‘People living with HIV/Aids, cancer should not take Sinopharm vaccine’

ON Monday, Zimbabwe received a consignment of 200,000 Covid-19 vaccines from the government of China. The vaccine which was manufactured by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company SinoPharm will be administered this week, as Zimbabwe embarks on an ambitious project to vaccinate the population against the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, it should be noted that some countries are not recommending people living with HIV/AIDS to take the Sinopharm vaccine. From the information shared about the Sinopharm vaccine, people living with HIV/AIDS should not take the vaccine because Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) suppresses the immune system.

People with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy are also advised not to take the vaccine.

According to the information pamphlet, the Sinopharm vaccine has a lot of restrictions, and a lot of vulnerable groups will not be able to take it. The vaccine should only be taken by people between the ages of 18 and 60, meaning that everyone under the age of 18 is advised against taking it.

More worryingly, however, those above the age of 60, who are the most vulnerable, are being advised against taking the Sinopharm vaccine.

What Are Other Countries Saying About People Living With HIV/AIDS  Taking The Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine?

Part of the informational pamphlet on the Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine reads,

SinoPharm Vaccine Information Sheet for Healthcare Workers

Contraindications

• Children or young people under the age of 18
• Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy in the next 6 weeks.
• Anyone with allergies to vaccines in the past, or gets allergy from the first dose, should not take it.
• Anyone who has allergies to any of the vaccine excipients (listed above.)
• Any history of serious allergy (anaphylaxis) requiring emergency care.
• People with conditions that suppress the immune system (e.g. HIV-AIDS, on steroid medications or receiving Chemotherapy).
• People with uncontrolled Epilepsy or other neurologic conditions.
• People with uncontrolled chronic conditions (e.g. uncontrolled heart failure, late-stage kidney disease, uncontrolled asthma).

Caution

Caution is advised when using the vaccine in individuals with bleeding disorders or on anticoagulants (Rivaroxaban, Warfarin)- clients must be asked to consult with their doctors prior to administration. Individuals on Aspirin or Clopidogrel can still take the vaccine.

What People Living With HIV/AIDS Should Know About Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine
(Image Credit: Team Pachedu)

An excerpt from another information sheet on the SinoPharm Vaccine reads,

Information on SinoPharm Covid-19 Vaccine as at 8 January 2021; Ministry of Health; Based on product information.

What is the SinoPharm COVID-19 Vaccine,

It is a type of Inactivated (Vero cell) vaccine to protect individuals against infection from SARS CoV 2 (the virus which causes COVID 19 disease).

It is given as a two-dose regimen, 2 to 4 weeks apart, non, in a muscle (typically upper arm).

Who can take the vaccine?

Adults aged 18 to 60 years, including individuals with chronic illnesses that are well controlled.

Who cannot take the vaccine?

• Children or young people under the age of 18 years.
• Women who are presently pregnant or reading/w breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy within the next 6 weeks.
• Anyone with allergies to COVID-19 vaccine or other vaccines in the past. Anyone who gets allergy from the first dose should not take it again.
• Any history of serious allergy (anaphylaxis) requiring emergency care.
• People with conditions that suppress the immune system (e.g. HIV-AIDS, on steroid medications or receiving Chemotherapy).
• People with uncontrolled Epilepsy or other neurologic conditions.
• People with uncontrolled chronic conditions (e.g. uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension, uncontrolled heart failure, late-stage kidney disease, uncontrolled asthma).

Can people who have COVID-19 disease now or have had it before take the vaccine?

• People diagnosed with symptomatic infection with COVID-19 should not take the vaccine and wait for reporter after recovery.
• People who have been diagnosed, isolated and treated for COVID-19 can take the vaccine two weeks after being declared recovered.

What People Living With HIV/AIDS Should Know About Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine
What People Living With HIV/AIDS Should Know About Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine (Image Credit: Team Pachedu)

The government of Zimbabwe is yet to issue its own advisory to people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable groups about taking the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.

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