The science of sequencing: How Africa is preparing for future pandemics

Africa is building up a genomic surveillance network of 12 regional hubs that will help the continent to prepare for future pandemics.

The ABCs of DIY vaccines: Why tech transfer is a big thing

Africa’s reliance on companies outside the continent can be turned around in time for the next health crisis. A new World Health Organisation initiative will make this happen by helping nations make jabs without slogging through the trial and error of developing a new vaccine.

The Pfizer palpitations: What exactly are the risks to teens’ hearts from this COVID...

As South Africa’s teenagers line up to get their Pfizer COVID jab, many parents are concerned about the possible risk of heart inflammation. We break down the numbers behind this extremely rare side effect and why it shouldn’t deter teens from getting a shot.

Mostly men: Why they die young

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Women’s mortality rates have been on the decline since 1950. But progress for men has been much slower. Here’s why lack of action among policymakers has led to trailing improvements in deaths among young men aged 10 to 24 years old.

Put a label on it — or not. How to get South Africans to...

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Europe tried putting clearer labels on food to get people eating healthier. But the same approach won’t work in South Africa. Here’s how to get people away from processed food and find healthier, affordable alternatives.

How Africa plans to make 60% of the vaccines needed on the continent

Africa is building up its own vaccine manufacturing capacity which will make the continent less dependent on wealthy nations for vaccine supply.

Booster basics – Health workers will get boosters from 8 November

As South Africa considers booster vaccines for some, the United States medicines regulator has approved the “mix and match” use of COVID vaccines. Data shows those who got Johnson & Johnson to begin with are better off with a Pfizer or Moderna jab in round two.

The verdict is in — and Sputnik V is out

Sputnik V manufacturers could not produce any data to show that the vaccine is safe to use in a country with a high HIV infection rate.

SA teens, you’re up for a vaccine, without your parents’ permission

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People between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to register from 20 October. This group will only be given one dose of the Pfizer vaccine to decrease their chances of developing heart inflammation.

Not enough to cover the basics: Why the COVID-19 relief grant just isn’t cutting...

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Millions of South Africans in their 20s have applied for the COVID-19 relief grant. But at R350 a month, this is not enough to cover a person’s basic food requirements — and is an indicator of the increasing dependency of young adults on grants.

Gift of the jab: 6 tips for speaking to the unvaxxed

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Early polls showed that two-thirds of adults were willing to get a COVID vaccine when it became available. But this hasn’t necessarily translated into actual uptake. Around half of people are on the fence when it comes to getting their jab. Here’s how to get them on board.

SA’s COVID vaccine drive – 5 problems and solutions from rural South Africa

Rural provinces such the Eastern Cape and Limpopo are winning South Africa’s vaccination race. Here are the problems the far-flung vaccine sites have faced and how they were solved.

Digging through the data: Did COVID-19 lead to more teen pregnancies in SA?

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It’s too soon to tell what effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on teen pregnancies. But here’s what the data shows so far.

COVID vaccine mandates don’t have to undermine your rights. Here’s why

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South Africa’s laws allow for the government to implement mandatory COVID vaccinations but these mandates won’t necessarily infringe on individual rights.

The sugar tax is working. Now double it

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While the world focuses its attention on COVID-19, there is another illness draining the health system’s resources – diabetes. The cost of diabetes-related blindness and kidney failures is being overlooked too, these health advocates say.

What it’s like to be hospitalised and diabetic: ‘Vaccination saved my life’

Karyn Maughan lives with diabetes and was partially vaccinated when she contracted the virus that causes COVID-19. But because of vaccination she survived the illness — unlike two of her unvaccinated colleagues, who also had diabetes, and died.