The different types of COVID-19 tests are far from equal. Picking a test is generally a matter of speed versus accuracy and, most importantly, why you need a test and when. What are the limitations of these tests? Is there any quality control? What are the chances of false positives and false negatives? Elsabé Brits surveys the landscape of tests available in South Africa and asks which type is most appropriate in what situation.
Findings of two large phase III clinical trials first presented in 2020 showed a new HIV prevention injection to be highly effective. Yet, experts expect that the injection will only reach clinics in late 2022 or early 2023. If the rhetoric about bringing the urgency of COVID-19 to HIV is to mean anything, these timelines should be made shorter.
Government can avoid the overwhelming of health services and minimise death in an anticipated fourth COVID-19 wave in November/December by getting 90% of people in South Africa over 35 years old vaccinated before then. Life could then return to normal by Christmas, even with ongoing SARS-CoV-2 circulation, contends vaccinologist Professor Shabir Madhi.
The risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 is 30% greater in people living with HIV compared to those who are HIV negative, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Comprised of data from 37 countries, including South Africa, the report suggests people living with HIV should be prioritised for vaccination. Laura Owings reports.
Dr Nicholas Crisp is a deputy director-general in the National Department of Health and the person responsible for coordinating South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Crisp spoke to Chris Bateman about challenges with the rollout and his wife and daughters getting sick with COVID-19.
Most pregnant women in South Africa will have to wait at least another month for a potentially life-saving COVID-19 jab. Chris Bateman takes a look at what we do and do not know about COVID-19 and its impact on pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant, and when it is safest for such women to get vaccinated.
South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination programme currently requires that people enter an identity number when registering on government’s electronic system and present an identity document when they go to get jabbed. This makes it hard for homeless people without IDs to get vaccinated. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports from the streets of Cape Town.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to think global and build locally. The African innovative pharmaceutical sector has the potential to thrive and needs more incentive to grow. A blooming continental sector would serve as a critical and secure source for key vaccines and therapeutics, reducing the need to rely on the goodwill of donors, writes Professor Kelly Chibale.
Every now and again people in South Africa have to endure a few weeks of mostly scheduled power cuts. Because power cuts can be deadly in hospitals, most facilities have backup systems in place. Tiyese Jeranji investigates how it all works and what safeguards are in place to prevent the lights from going out while you are on the theatre table.
Jabs from Johnson & Johnson were central to plans to scale up South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination programme. With news that a first consignment of two million doses cannot be used, it is critical that government play open cards with the public about its revised vaccination plans and timelines and what steps it is taking to procure more vaccines faster.
By 13 June official statistics from the Department of Health showed 382 255 people 60 years and older in the Eastern Cape registered for COVID-19 vaccination. So far, 114 661 of them received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Luvuyo Mehlwana visited some rural areas to see how registration and vaccination are going.
Phase two of South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is underway and members of the public are being asked to report any mild, moderate or severe adverse events experienced after receiving their jabs. Adele Baleta explains what the correct way is to report adverse events after vaccination.