New year, same rules: The science behind masks, ventilation and keeping a distance

Wearing a mask, washing your hands, good ventilation and keeping your distance all help to lower your chances of getting infected by the virus that causes COVID-19. This is because they reduce how much virus you could be exposed to as you go about your day. As scientists think the virus will be with us for years to come, these measures, along with vaccination, will be crucial to help us keep safe as we go back to the office, schools, and everywhere in between.

Bhekisisa wrapped: Our greatest hits from 2021

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As the second year of coronavirus pandemic reporting draws to a close, the Bhekisisa team takes a look back at their favourite stories of the past twelve months.

Welcome to the wonderful world of vaccination. Here’s why young people should get the...

Are you confused about COVID vaccines? A lot of young people are on the fence about whether they should get their jab or not. To put your mind at ease, we had an infectious diseases expert break it down.

Why science & research can be hard to swallow: The giant hamburger of trust

The scientific process is like a hamburger. By examining the quality of each ingredient, you can see how good the end product is. You wouldn’t want mouldy bread or wilted lettuce ruining a perfectly good meal — and similarly you don’t want bad science ruining what could otherwise be a perfectly good vaccine. We look at whether Sputnik V could make it onto the menu.

Adjusted level 3 lockdown: Six things you can or can’t do

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Lockdown regulations have been eased, and you can now buy booze again and go to restaurants, but not wearing a mask remains a criminal offence and the 10pm to 4am curfew remains in place

The story of a lifetime: Inside SA’s COVID newsrooms

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What does it take to deliver accurate and engaging vaccine roll-out news during a pandemic? These media heavyweights share the realities and politics of covering COVID in South Africa’s leading newsrooms.

People without medical aid can now do walk-ins at private sites. How does it...

The health department has issued new guidance on how South Africa’s COVID vaccination sites should handle “walk-ins”. We unpack the document from how it works to who is covered.
COVID containment

SA is not reaching herd immunity. Our new goal is containment – here’s how...

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The stop-start nature of South Africa’s roll-out is not the only reason herd immunity is an unrealistic goal for this year. A scarce supply of vaccines and new variants of concern circulating in the country play a role too. Find out more.

Your guide to side-effects: What you can expect after a COVID jab

Vaccines are our most powerful tool to fight the COVID pandemic. Soon, South Africa will start with its mass roll-out. We take a look at what to expect when you get vaccinated.

Updated: Pregnant and breastfeeding women will soon be included in the Sisonke J&J trial

The Sisonke trial, that was paused earlier this month because of the US government's regulator the Food and Drug Administration's , investigation into rare blood clotting disorders associated with the Johnson & Johnson jab, will resume on Wednesday, April 28th.

Q&A: Six things you’d want to know about COVID jabs

South Africa is on the verge of rolling out COVID vaccines widely, but can we vaccinate children and pregnant women, and which jabs work against the 501Y.V2 variants identified in South Africa? We asked the epidemiologist and former ministerial advisory committee chairperson, Salim Adbool Karim.

What’s unique about the body’s response to the 501Y.V2 variant? Find out

New research shows that protection against the 501Y.V2 variant could also extend to other variants — including the original virus circulating the country and the variant first identified in Brazil. Understanding the immune response to the new form of the virus in South Africa can help shape how vaccines are designed for more long-lasting and wider protection.

Child-friendly COVID messaging matters. Here’s how you can do it right

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The new coronavirus has changed a lot about our lives and children haven’t been spared.  Warnings about the coronavirus just before South Africa’s lockdown in...

Explained: This is how advances in HIV medicines helped turn the tide on a...

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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted access to services for HIV prevention and treatment — but before that great progress had been made in these areas. An ever-expanding toolkit of new interventions and medications has helped turn what was once a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition. Find out more.

Asked and answered: Six things you need to know about the new COVID variant...

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In December 2020, scientists announced that a new variant of the coronavirus had been identified in South Africa. Here's a look at what we've learnt in the past month about the new variant that is driving the country's second wave of infections.

Keen to join the People’s Vaccine Campaign? Here’s what it’s about

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South Africa’s government cannot handle the COVID-19 vaccine rollout alone, these activists say. That’s why it’s time for citizens to get involved in this ‘life or death’ issue.