How vaccine safety is monitored in SA

How vaccine safety is monitored in SA

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.

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Opinion: Pivot to J&J vaccine makes sense in light of new findings

Opinion: Pivot to J&J vaccine makes sense in light of new findings

Government deserves criticism for various aspects of its COVID-19 response, but some social media criticism following Sunday’s announcement that the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine has little or no efficacy in preventing mild-to-moderate disease caused by the 501Y.V2 variant has been unfair, writes Marcus Low.

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Analysis: SAHPRA decision on ivermectin shifts heavy responsibility to doctors

Analysis: SAHPRA decision on ivermectin shifts heavy responsibility to doctors

In allowing section 21 applications as part of a controlled compassionate access programme, SAHPRA has essentially shifted the responsibility for deciding whether the anti-parasitic ivermectin is safe and effective enough to be used in the treatment of COVID-19 to doctors. This places an enormous responsibility on doctors, writes Adele Baleta.

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In-depth: After a rough 17 years, is Biovac finally on track?

In-depth: After a rough 17 years, is Biovac finally on track?

South Africa has struggled to secure adequate stock of urgently needed COVID-19 vaccines. This has raised questions about the state of the country’s local vaccine manufacturing capacity and why, after almost two decades of government support, South Africa’s partially state-owned vaccine manufacturer Biovac is not better positioned to respond to the pandemic. Catherine Tomlinson investigates.

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400 people in SA with highly drug-resistant TB to get new three-drug regimen

400 people in SA with highly drug-resistant TB to get new three-drug regimen

Treating highly drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis can take anything from nine to 24 months and patients have to contend with various unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous, side effects. A new six-month regimen made up of just three drugs that will be offered to 400 patients in South Africa might offer a better solution for some. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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COVID-19: Millions of injection devices will be needed for vaccines

COVID-19: Millions of injection devices will be needed for vaccines

The delivery of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available in South Africa will be a complex and costly logistical exercise. Acquiring enough injection devices is part of crucial logistical planning to ensure rapid, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Adele Baleta reports.

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New medicines should make life easier for kids living with HIV

New medicines should make life easier for kids living with HIV

HIV medicines for children often taste bitter, pills are large, and for many children there is a lot of medication to take. This makes it hard to take treatment as prescribed. Tiyese Jeranji looks at the challenges with currently available HIV medicines for children, what innovations are in the pipeline, and how HIV treatment is being tailored to suit the needs of children.

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COVID-19: How vaccine registration will work in SA

COVID-19: How vaccine registration will work in SA

Before any COVID-19 vaccines can be made available in South Africa, they must be authorised by South Africa’s medicines regulator—the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). Catherine Tomlinson explores how SAHPRA is preparing to review and authorise the use of COVID-19 vaccines in the country and the different authorisation approaches they may use.

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HIV prevention injection hailed as a “major breakthrough” for women

HIV prevention injection hailed as a “major breakthrough” for women

Early results from a pivotal trial of an HIV prevention injection announced by the University of the Witwatersrand researchers on Tuesday have been hailed as being a “game-changer” to turn “the tide on HIV” as it effectively reduces HIV acquisition and provides women more choices in how to protect themselves. Amy Green reports.

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Mental health: Are medicine shortages fuelling a shadow epidemic?

Mental health: Are medicine shortages fuelling a shadow epidemic?

Almost half of the most commonly used medications to treat mental illness in South Africa were out of stock in August, and many have been in short supply since March. Now, experts warn that amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation could see a “shadow epidemic” of psychiatric illness. Laura Lopez Gonzalez investigates.

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COVID-19: High prevalence found in Cape Town antibody study

COVID-19: High prevalence found in Cape Town antibody study

Initial results from an antibody survey conducted in the Cape Town Metro indicate that of 2 700 pregnant women and people living with HIV making use of the public healthcare system, 40% have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Adele Baleta has the details.

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