Tortoise and the hare: Why a COVID vaccine is outrunning its HIV counterpart

Four COVID jabs’ efficacy results have been released within less than a year after the trials had started. But this is far from the norm. Researchers have been working on HIV vaccines for over three decades — and we still don’t have one. Here’s why.
(Albert Gonzalez Farran

Young or old: Who should get a COVID-19 jab first?

Mathematicians are exploring models to figure out how COVID vaccines should be distributed to have the biggest impact. Should they give it to older...

The world’s arms race against superbugs

It’s been almost 40 years since a new class of antibiotics was discovered. Do governments need to incentivise drug companies differently to get them...

Politics and trust: Why Biden’s fightback against Trump’s vaccine misinformation will impact South Africa

America’s president-elect, Joe Biden, has a herculean task ahead of him: He will have to repair the harm done by his predecessor’s perceived political interference with the registration of COVID-19 vaccines. That’s easier said than done. How well he confronts this battle will influence how willing his compatriots — and also some South Africans — are to take the shots. Here’s why.

Cold truth: South Africa won’t be able to store these COVID vaccines. Here’s why

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine into the country is one thing, but making sure the jab gets to people who need it – and is effective once they get it – is a feat for which South Africa is ill-equipped, experts say.

Why COVID made autopsies soar

Autopsies offer detail that cannot be found in the living. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a resurgence in these procedures — but not...

Why our obsession with happy endings can lead to bad decisions

There’s more to life than just a happy ending, a new brain imaging experiment shows. It turns out the key to enjoying things is...
Community health workers didn't just provide at-home HIV testing. They went into schools to help teach young people sexual and reproductive health and encourage boys to get medically circumcised.

Community health workers – could COVID finally unlock their role in the NHI?

In the absence of action from the health department, South Africa’s community health workers are once again having to fight for their rights The...

South Africans aren’t being protected from fake sanitisers: What needs to be done

Sanitiser stockouts left governments to turn to more unconventional suppliers at the beginning of the year. Here’s why a lack of regulations in South...

The world could see a COVID-19 vaccine by next year — here’s who will...

Even if a jab is shown to work, there won’t be enough doses for everyone. Countries such as South Africa would need to make tough decisions about who it would give the vaccine to — and more importantly how to create a system to get it to them.

Is trust earned or given? Five COVID lessons for the NHI

COVID-19 brought the public and private health sectors together. But while the estranged bedfellows were making amends in the Western Cape, looting of COVID-19...

COVID-19 and HIV: So far it seems the outcome is not what was feared

Over seven million people are believed to be living with HIV in South Africa. When COVID-19 reached our shores, there was great concern about what it would mean for our vulnerable populations. But the country’s fatality rates have been lower than initially expected. Here’s why.

COVID vaccines 101: Breaking down the good, the bad, and the promise of the...

With hundreds of potential COVID vaccine candidates being tested around the world, here’s a quick guide to which ones you should keep an eye on — and when we could see results.

South Africa is ‘extremely unlikely’ to have COVID vaccine results before next year

One of South Africa’s three COVID-19 vaccine trials was recently put on hold after a participant in the United Kingdom developed an unexplained illness....

This COVID-19 medicine opened a Pandora’s box in SA. Find out why

There’s a lot of debate about the price of COVID-19 medicine remdesivir, but researchers say there are also some unanswered questions about the drug’s...

Social distancing: How far is far enough?

Talk of social distancing and how to do it right shows up in the Bible and the writings of Muhammad. Centuries later, the science...