Mia Malan Profile picture
2 May, 10 tweets, 8 min read
[Thread] 1. Just before midnight on Sunday, SA will receive its first batch of commercial #CovidVaccines: 325 260 #Pfizer doses (enough to fully vaccinate 162 630 people - each person needs 2 doses).
2. A small study of 800 people has shown that the #Pfizer jab is 100% effective in protecting against falling ill with #COVID19 in SA (the trial was conducted while the #501YV2 variant was the most common form of the #COVID virus circulating in SA). bit.ly/3eReBtU
3. What will happen to the #Pfizer doses when they touch down at OR Tambo? They'll be transported to a central warehouse. Samples of the doses will then be selected and transported to Bloemfontein to the National Control Lab so they can be tested for quality.
4. Once the National Control Lab has cleared the #Pfizer samples, the 325 260 doses will be distributed to provinces. Who will get vaccinated with them? #HealthWorkers will be 1st. Why? They're the most vulnerable to getting infected with the virus that causes #COVID.
5. What's the diffs between the Sisonke trial + commercial vaccination with the #Pfizer jabs? Sisonke = a study which will vaccinate 500 000 #HealthWorkers with the #JandJ jab. SA got the doses for free. The #Pfizer doses we paid for; they won't be used as part of a study.
6. How many #HealthWorkers are left to vaccinate? The health dpt says we've got up to 1.2 million health workers (some experts say it's less). If we work with 1.2 million: Sisonke had covered about 320 00 workers by the end of Sat. So we've got about 880 000 left to vaccinate.
7. Our 1st batch of #Pfizer jabs will only cover 162 630 people/workers, which is not enough to cover all #HealthWorkers. When will more jabs arrive? The health dpt says we'll get 325 260 doses each week in May. Thereafter we'll get 636 480 per week until the end of June.
8. Are any other jabs on their way? Yes. 1.1 million doses of #JandJ jabs are waiting to be released from Aspen in the Eastern Cape. They're likely to get released in mid-May. They're currently undergoing a safety verification process.
9. So who will get a #Pfizer jab and who will get a #JandJ jab? You won't be able to choose which jab you get. Pfizer will go to urban areas and #JandJ to rural areas (we don't yet have details re which areas count for urban and which ones for rural).
10. When will people other than #HealthWorkers start to get vaccinated? The health dpt says people over 60 will start to get jabs by May 17. You can, however, only get vaccinated if you've registered on the EVDS. vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/

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More from @miamalan

26 Apr
[Thread]. 1. This morning @ZweliMkhize announced that the Sisonke trial, which uses #JohnsonandJohnson’s #COVID19 jab, will resume on Wednesday. So what happens now?
2. Up until now, the Sisonke trial has vaccinated about 300 000 #HealthWorkers. @SAHPRA1 paused the trial in April, after the FDA/CDC in the US temporarily halted its #JandJ roll-out due to the occurrence of 8 rare blood clotting disorders among about 7 million vaccinated people.
3. None of the blood clots that occurred in the US, occurred in SA's Sisonke trial (likely because it’s so rare and we’ve only vaccinated about 300 000 people vs. the US’s 7 mil). The US unpaused its #JandJ roll-out on Fri after the FDA cleared the jab. bit.ly/2PsRgGA
Read 19 tweets
22 Apr
[Thread] 1. Just in from Wednesday's cabinet briefing:
* The #CovidVaccine roll-out is still scheduled to start on May 17.
* There are now 3 338 vaccination sites (a list with the names hasn't been released).
2. When will can we start to use the 31 million #JohnsonandJohnson jabs that we've bought and will the first 1 million (from Aspen in SA) still land this week? We don't know. Neither @SAHPRA1 (our regulator; it needs to authorise use) nor @healthZA have made an announcement.
3. What do we know? Sahpra has recommended that the Sisonke trial (it uses J&J jabs) should resume. But before that can happen, Sahpra has to approve new docs submitted by the researchers (the study has to adhere to new rules set by Sahpra, e.g. better screening for blood clots).
Read 8 tweets
16 Apr
[Thread] 1. Stravos Nicolaou (from Aspen and SA's vaccine oversight committee): Phase 2a (people of 60 and older) and Phase 1b (health workers getting commercial vaccines) of our roll-out will run concurrently.
2. Stravos Nicolaou: Soon, SA will significantly ramp up the number of people vaccinated per day. We'll do two things: open up many more vaccination sites than what the Sisonke study had and have many more deliveries of #CovidVaccines.
3. Stravos Nicolaou: SA's #CovidVaccine pipeline: In total we've procured 61 million vaccine doses: 31million J&J, 30 million Pfizer - they will arrive over the course of 2021. We also have 500 000 Pfizer doses coming from COVAX.
Read 4 tweets
16 Apr
[Thread] 1. People in South Africa who are 60 years and older can register on the government's electronic vaccination system from 4pm today (it was announced at a press briefing this morning). bit.ly/32h0Kar
2. At this stage, the system will only allow you to register and not yet allocate you a site or date to get vaccinated at (because a vaccination date depends on when our first batch of vaccines arrives and when Sahpra makes an announcement about the resuming of J&J's roll-out).
3. #ZweliMkhize: What do you need to register online? Internet access (smart phone, tablet, computer), an ID or passport, a cell phone number (so the system can send you text messages re appointments) and if you have a medical aid, your med aid number/card.
Read 8 tweets
13 Apr
[Thread] 1. #ZweliMkhize says there is no evidence that J&J is linked to blood clots. SA is pausing its roll-out as a precautionary measure to find out if there is something to be concerned about before we proceed.
2. Helen Rees (Sahpra's chair): Vaccine safety is always at the top of our list. In the case J&J, the nr of blood clot cases is very low: 6 cases out of almost 7 million vaccinated people in the US. We need to find out if the cases are accidental or linked to the jab.
3. Helen Rees: This process is called a causality assessment. It's normal to do with new jabs. Why? In trials, jabs are tested on 1000s of people. When you roll them out, millions of people get them. So there's a chance for side effects you didn't see in the trial to occur.
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
[Thread] 1. VACCINE ARRIVAL UPDATES: According to #ZweliMkhize, J&J has confirmed that just over 1 mil #CovidVaccines will be delivered to SA between 22 + 24 April. They will all come from the local Aspen plant (previously we only knew they'd arrive in the 3rd/4th wk of April).
2. #ZweliMkhize: The 2nd and 3rd J&J #CovidVaccine batches in May and June (900 000 per month) will come from Belgium (the first batch will come from Aspen in SA), so delivery will be more complex. We'll get an exact delivery date within the next 2 weeks.
3. #Pfizer 1st batch of #CovidVaccines is likely to arrive in April. Next week, Pfizer will tell SA how many doses + also a specific delivery date (if there are no payment glitches). #ZweliMkhize previously said we'll get 5.5 million doses between April + June.
Read 5 tweets

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