Technical work on the discovery of new medicines is not commonly done in South Africa, or Africa, for that matter. One person who is at the forefront of changing this, is Kelly Chibale, a professor in organic chemistry and founder of the pioneering Holistic Drug Discovery and Development Centre – H3D – at the University of Cape Town. Biénne Huisman spoke to Chibale about his fascinating work and his journey from a village in Zambia, across the world, and back to Cape Town.
Millions of doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine procured by the South African government have expired and the shot is largely unavailable to people in the country. Meanwhile, earlier this month, the World Health Organization declared an end to the COVID-19 ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’. Adele Baleta asks what all this means for COVID-19 in South Africa.
The Department of Health is not planning to buy the new COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines, specifically tailored to target Omicron variants, anytime soon. Adele Baleta looks into the reasoning behind this decision.
COVID-19 vaccine doses destined to be binned next month are “a shocking indictment” and questions need to be asked about just how effective the country’s vaccination drive has been, some public health experts say. Ufrieda Ho reports.
The benefits of approved COVID-19 vaccines still far outweigh the risks, experts say following a recently reported death in South Africa linked to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Adele Baleta reports.
Unlike regulators in the United States and Europe, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has not yet given the green light for any form of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine boosting. We take a look at the regulatory issues standing in the way of people in South Africa who received the Johnson & Johnson jab being offered Pfizer boosters.
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.
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.
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.
Government has been criticised for the slow pace of the country’s vaccine rollout which started on 17 May 2021. Elri Voigt spoke to experts to hear what is being done right in this vaccine rollout and where improvements are needed.
While it is uncertain when teachers in the Free State will receive vaccinations during this third wave, the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the province’s schools continues to increase. Refilwe Mochoari reports.
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine currently in Phase I trials being run by the University of Cape Town has a unique design that might allow it to offer better protection against current and future variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Elri Voigt provides an update on the trial and unpacks the science behind this vaccine candidate.