Why South Africa stopped making vaccines

The high demand for COVID vaccines means there are limited global supplies. Local manufacturing is one potential solution to this problem. So why isn’t South Africa making its own jabs? Find out.
Medical oxygen

All about the air: How COVID turned oxygen into a luxury

Access to oxygen could mean the difference between living or dying for a COVID patient. But developing countries lack the infrastructure to produce liquid oxygen and transport it to hospitals. Now a team of scientists at Cambridge University has come up with a solution.

How South Africa’s COVID vaccine injury fund will work

In the rare event that you experience a severe side-effect as a result of COVID-19 vaccines, this fund will pay you out.

Cash for COVID: Why this controversial trial is asking people to voluntarily get infected

People who participate in a challenge trial volunteer to get sick in order to help scientists learn more about a disease. These studies have been used for diseases like cholera and malaria — and now for COVID-19.

The Pfizer vaccines are coming. Is SA’s cold chain ready?

South Africa previously rolled out the oral polio vaccine which must be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius like the Pfizer jab. Here’s what it takes to keep up the cold chain.

Streets (not) made for walking: How poor urban planning in African cities exacerbates inequality

We’re all aware of the health benefits of walking. But for many of Africa’s urban populations who are forced to walk because of poor development planning, walking is not a leisure activity – it’s an indicator of inequality.

Q&A: Six things you should know about the Sisonke COVID jab study

How do Sisonke study researchers decide which hospital is a COVID vaccination site and will these venues also be used for our wider, national vaccine roll-out? We break it down for you and also explain how sites store the jabs.

How prejudice strips people with disabilities of their sexual and reproductive rights

Many people with physical disabilities find it hard to access sexual and reproductive health services — and it’s often the prejudice of those without disabilities that stands in their way.

Why South Africa isn’t using the AstraZeneca jabs it bought

South Africa’s decision against the AstraZeneca vaccine marked the first time South Africa departed with WHO's advice in its COVID-19 pandemic response.

Vaccine history, part 1: What can we learn from measles?

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Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. But cases almost completely disappeared through mass vaccination campaigns. As we once again attempt to end a pandemic through vaccines, here are some lessons to take away for the roll-out of COVID jabs.

Tours, trips and travel: Why vaccine passports may be a route back to normal...

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After a year of lockdowns and restrictions, vaccine passports could allow people to travel more freely within their communities, enter other countries or engage in leisure activities that were largely prohibited during the COVID pandemic. But they also have the potential to further divide the global rich from the global poor.

Ending a pandemic: How to calculate how many people need to get vaccinated

How do you work out which proportion of a population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity? We break it down and calculate how each jab would change how many people need to be vaccinated in order to stop COVID from spreading in the country.

One mask to rule them all: This type of cloth mask is better than...

Imagine the layers of your mask as a spider web, catching respiratory droplets as you breathe in and out — but some masks have more efficient webs than others.

COVID immunity: Will it last a lifetime or fade in a flash?

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Countries around the world have begun vaccinating against COVID-19 — and it’s working. The jabs help protect people from severe disease. But for how long? Find out.

‘We’re all mad here’: Gaze through the looking glass a year after SA’s first...

Our journalists have been reporting on COVID-19 (exclusively, almost) for a year. A lot of the time, they’ve felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland. Only the world of COVID reporting isn’t a wonderland – it’s hell.

COVID-19: What happens if some countries don’t vaccinate?

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Some countries, such as Tanzania and Madagascar, have issued statements saying they do not have plans to vaccinate their populations against COVID-19. Find out what this means for the global effort to contain the pandemic.