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Sep 12 5 tweets 5 min read
🧵1. @HealthZA will offer #COVID19 #Pfizer jabs 2 high-risk kids between 5 + 11 yrs on recommendation of the VMAC.

When? The #EVDS 1st needs 2 be updated, a circular needs to be issued + health workers need 2 be trained. Nicholas Crisp: "It will take at least a month." 2. What counts as a high-risk condition?
Chronic respiratory disease
Chronic heart conditions
Chronic conditions of the kidney, liver, digestive system
Endocrine disorders
Chronic neurological disease
Genetic abnormalities
Jun 27 10 tweets 8 min read
[Thread] 1. SA saw its 1st confirmed #monkeypox case last week. Will there be more cases? YES. Why? The 1st case doesn’t have a travel history so he (a 30 year old man from Jhb) contracted it from someone in SA who already had it. bit.ly/3QNA7SH 2. How do you get #monkeypox? Through close contact, e.g. hugging, kissing, sex, or contaminated materials, e.g. shared linen or cutlery. It’s much harder to contract monkeypox than #COVID19. The @nicd_sa's Jackie Weyer explains it in this sound clip:
Jun 23 6 tweets 5 min read
[Thread] JUST IN:
1. @healthza has confirmed that #JoePhaahla has repealed regulations 16A, 16B + 16C in section 90 of the National Health Act. What does this mean?
In short:
1. No masks
2. #COVID19 gathering rules = dropped
3. COVID entry requirements into SA = dropped 2. What does regulation 16 A say?
- You must wear a mask indoors
- You must wear a mask when using public transport

This has been repealed, so you no longer:
- Have to wear indoor masks
- Have to wear masks when using public transport
Jun 3 8 tweets 5 min read
🧵JUST IN: 1. From Mon, 6 June, people of 50+ can get an extra #Pfizer #COVID19 vaccine booster 120 days after their previous booster. Technically, you can already get one from tomorrow (Sat), as the #EVDS went live tonight, but you’ll only receive an sms alert from Mon. 2. Can you choose if you want an extra #JnJ or #Pfizer booster? No. For this round, you'll need to take a #Pfizer booster (all SA’s #Pfizer jabs will have expired by the end of Oct, so this is one way of using them faster before then).
May 18 18 tweets 11 min read
🧵1. It used to be straightforward to determine when we were in a #COVIDinSA wave. Everyone used the ministerial advisory committee’s formula. In 2022, things are a bit more complicated. Some researchers argue this method is no longer all that useful. bit.ly/3wkRRwv 2. If we use the MAC formula, the fifth wave started on May 7. But since these numbers alone no longer translate into curfews, lockdowns or liquor bans, @nicd_sa researchers believe a new benchmark may be necessary. bit.ly/3wkRRwv
May 10 4 tweets 3 min read
🧵1. #JoePhaahla, #HIV:
- 8 million SAs = HIV positive in 2021
- Nr on #ARV's: 5.4 million, so there's a gap of over 2 million who are projected to be HIV positive but not on treatment.
- Main concern = spread amongst young people, especially young girls. 2. SA's policy = to provide #HIV treatment for everyone who tests positive to achieve viral suppression and reduce transmission.
May 10 6 tweets 4 min read
🧵1. BREAKING: @SAHPRA1 has approved a 3-month extension of the expiry dates of #Pfizer #COVID19 shots when stored at -70 °C. @HealthZA says it's stored the 92,370 jabs that originally expired on March 31 at -70°C, so they'll now only expire on June 30th and can still be used. 2. Why are there new expiry dates?

#COVID19 jabs have only been around for +/- 1.5 years. Manufacturers can only test if they stay stable 4 extended periods of time as the time moves on. They've now established that Pfizer jabs can be kept at -70°C for 12 (instead of 9) months
May 3 11 tweets 7 min read
🧵1. Is SA in a 5th #COVID19 wave?
@ProfAbdoolKarim: It’s too early to tell. We don’t have reliable data 2 compare infections of the last 7 days with the previous 7 days. Why? SA = 2 holidays in the past week, so testing nrs = down + can’t reliably be compared 2 the previous wk. 2. Why do we need to compare data of the last 7 days with the previous 7 days?

- For a 5th wave the 7-day moving average would have doubled every 2-3 days (so we would have had 10,000+ cases by now)
- But we’ve seen only a 52% increase: from 3,097 (April 24) to 4,693 (May 1)
Apr 22 10 tweets 8 min read
🧵1. It's been 2 years of mostly only #COVID19 reporting. What has the pandemic taught me about journalism?

Lesson 1: Accurate information is pretty useless if people don't understand it. Explanatory journalism should be specialist field: bit.ly/36xvxWm Lesson 2: Pandemics like #COVID19 make things happen faster. But to speed things up you need more hands and skills — you're going to get nowhere on your own.

The power lies in journalism oranisations sharing skills and resources. So learn to work together, or miss the bus.
Apr 13 10 tweets 5 min read
🧵1. What will a potential next #COVID19 variant of concern look like?
We dunno but it's unlikely 2 look like #Omicron, Beta/Delta, unless it arrives only when immunity from Omicron infection = waned
Why? Omicron infection = good immunity @ itself, Beta, Delta 2. Since #Omicron = spreading so fast + widely vs. past variants of concern, there are many vaxxed people who became infected with omicron and now have good immunity 2 all existing variants of concern. Similar immunity = evident in unvaxxed people with past Omicron infection.
Apr 8 9 tweets 6 min read
🧵1. Will SA see a 5th wave?

1. @ProfAbdoolKarim says likely, but we don’t know if it'll be big or small. What we do know, is that we will almost certainly see a new variant. Each wave in SA has been driven by a new variant.

So what will a new variant look like? (next tweet) Image 2. What will a new variant look like (let’s call it Pi)?

We dunno.

But for Pi to become the dominant variant it will have to be more transmissible than #Omicron, or it won’t be able to replace/out-compete it (if they were athletes, Pi would need to run faster than Omicron). Image
Mar 16 16 tweets 11 min read
🧵1. What's happening with #COVID19 in globally + in SA?
@Dr_Groome, @nicd_sa:

- Europe's had a relatively big 4th #Omicron wave, which seems to have stabilised
- Western Pacific countries (Hong Kong, China, Singapore) have seen huge increases in #COVID infections 2. Which variants caused a spike in infections in Western Pacific countries?

@Dr_Groome: Mostly #Omicron and here and there #Delta. So new variants haven't been the cause.
Mar 15 8 tweets 5 min read
🧵1. It's @SAHPRA1's job to ensure only meds that are safe/effective are used in SA. What does that mean?

Mark Blockman, Sahpra:
It means Sahpra looks out 4 common side effects + more rare adverse effects that the manufacturer reported + new ones that emerge after registration 2. How does @SAHPRA1 review meds?
1. They look at data submitted by drug companies
2. They look at data published in studies about the meds
3. They look at decisions of other credible regulators
Mar 10 8 tweets 9 min read
🧵1. Until when will you be able to get a #Pfizer #COVID19 jab in SA?

Most likely only until July 31st, says @HealthZA. After that only #JnJ will be available.

Why? SA has received all the doses it's procured from Pfizer and the last batch expires on July 31. 2. How many #COVID19 jabs has SA received?

Total: 60,6 million

- #Pfizer: 39,272,220 (this includes US donations and jabs we got via #Covax)
- #JnJ: 21,333,840 (we also got 500,000 for #Sisonke1 + 250,00 for #Sisonke2)

Full story: bit.ly/3CuMGeI
Mar 4 7 tweets 5 min read
[Thread] 1. What's happening with #COVID19 hospital admissions in SA?

Waasila Jassat, @nicd_sa:
- Over the past 14 days, admissions have decreased between 18% and 59% in all provinces 2. Your risk of hospitalisation due to an #Omicron infection is about 50% lower than in Wave 1,2,3 in SA (the risk for each wave = slightly different)

Most admissions in Wave 4 (#Omicron) = people between 20 and 39 years. In Wave 1,2,3 = admissions of people between 40 and 70.
Mar 4 7 tweets 6 min read
🧵1.What's happening with #COVID19 infections in SA?

@Dr_Groome, @nicd_sa:

- Our #Omicron wave is over
- There was a small uptick when schools and colleges opened and restrictions were also eased, but infections are now down to "in between wave" levels 2. What version of #Omicron is dominant in SA?

1. BA.2 (the version that's now spreading around the world, as opposed to BA.1, the original version)
2. BA.2 (dark orange on pie charts) = more transmissible, but SA data shows it doesn't make people sicker than BA.1
Mar 4 9 tweets 7 min read
[Thread] Have the new #COVIDV19 jab rules @healthza implemented in Feb resulted in a higher uptake?
- Early data = encouraging (🧵= details)
- What were the changes?
* 2nd #Pfizer jab = 21 days after 1st
* Pfizer booster = 90 days after 2nd
* #JnJ booster = 60 days after 1st 2. When did the changes kick in?
1. #JnJ: 21 Feb
#Pfizer: 23 Feb
2. What happened?
Comparison of uptake on 16 Feb + 2 March (1 wk after new rules):
* Increases:
- EC: 113%, KZN: 64%; LP: 96% (private sites)
- WC: 66% (public sites)
- NC (93%) (public +private sites)
Mar 4 9 tweets 5 min read
🧵1. How many #COVID19 jabs does SA have?

1. 20 million+ vaccine doses in stock
2. There's been an increase in take-up over the past week
3. But there's still a risk that 100,000 doses that will expire on March 31 won't be used in time + need to be discarded 2. #JoePhaahla:
1. SA is working with #COVAX to take up doses in SA that risk expiry before use and then return them later (so a kind of exchange programme)
2. Programmes right now specifically target the 18-34 age group where uptake is the lowest
Feb 25 10 tweets 9 min read
🧵1. Will SA vax kids between 5 + 11 years @ #COVID19?
- The vax MAC = not made a recommendation 2 @HealthZA. @SAHPRA1 = not approved vax 4 this group yet
- But if they say "yes" = no money 2 buy the jabs. Kids jabs = different from adult jabs. We can't use the ones we've got. 2. Do other countries vaccinate kids between 5 + 11 @ #COVID19?

- Just over a quarter of kids between 5 + 11 = vaxxed in the US
- UK = vaxxing vulnerable kids (for now)
- Sweden = only vaxxing kids vulnerable to respiratory diseases
- Full story: bit.ly/3JVGmzu Image
Feb 20 8 tweets 7 min read
From Wed, 23rd Feb, you can:
1. Get a 2nd #Pfizer jab 21 days after a 1st jab (previously = 42 days)
2. Get a Pfizer booster (3rd jab) 3 mnths after a 2nd jab (previously = 6 months) or choose 2 have a #JnJ booster after 2 #Pfizer shots (boosters = only for 18+) 2. From TOMORROW, Mon, 21st Feb, people of 18+ who received 1 #JnJ jab can:
- Choose to have a #Pfizer booster (instead of a 2nd #JnJ shot [booster] after 1 JnJ shot), in other words, you'll be able to "mix and match"
Feb 19 4 tweets 4 min read
1/4 LATEST #VaccineRollOutSA stats: Fri, 18 Feb

1. Jabs (doses), past 24 hrs: 71,787 (Thu: 73,097)
18+: 52,958
12-17: 18,829

2. How many new people were vaxxed in the past 24 hours?
- Pfizer 1st shots: 21,281
- JnJ 1st shots: 9,857
- Total: 31,138 (43.4% of all shots) 2. Fully vaxxed (#JnJ = 1 shot; #Pfizer = 2 shots)?
All of SA: 28.3%
SA adults: 42%
Teens: 3.3%

3. Adults, 1 shot: 47.1%

4. Teens, 1 shot: 19.3%

5. All of SA, 1 shot: 33.4%

Population stats = Stats SA, 2021:
SA pop: 60,305,416
Adults: 40,121,520
Teens (12-17): 6,447,073