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.
With the COVID-19 mass vaccination rollout set to start on 17 May, many more people, for now, those older than 60 years, will receive their jabs. Elri Voigt looked into what, if anything, will change for those who have been vaccinated, and what other countries have done in this regard.
Strict monitoring and surveillance systems for the safety of all vaccines, including those for COVID-19, are in place during vaccine trials as well as once vaccines are rolled out more widely. Adele Baleta takes a look at how vaccine-related adverse events are monitored in South Africa.
Within the next month or so we will be switching gears from the comparatively small-scale trial run of Sisonke to a full-on mass vaccination programme. As with the onset of a new wave of infections, this presents a dramatic shift in the pandemic and our response to it – although in this case, the shift is finally a good thing, writes Spotlight editor Marcus Low.