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News

Jab rollout catching up with ‘best in the world’

26 Jul 2021

 

“Three months ago, SA’s vaccination drive looked headed for disaster. After a slow start, the rollout has now reached about 230 00 people a day,” reported the Sunday Times (25 July 2021). As more private and public sector vaccination sites open and vaccinations are also being done on Saturdays, the number is rising fast.


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SA clings to medical scheme cover despite economic woes

26 Jul 2021
SA’s two biggest medical scheme administrators, Discovery Health and Medscheme, have reported growth in membership among their client schemes, despite the downturn in the economy and widespread job losses during the coronavirus pandemic, reported Business Day (26 July 2021).
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Department pushes for end to Covid-19 jabs for specific sectors

23 Jul 2021
Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi will present a proposal to the interministerial committee on Covid-19 to scrap the current vaccination strategy and focus on expanding vaccination coverage by age.
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Roche forecasts drop in Covid testing unit’s growth

23 Jul 2021
“Swiss healthcare company Roche said growth momentum for its Covid-19 testing business will probably abate in the coming months, signalling a levelling off of the jackpot that has fuelled sales recently,” reported Bloomberg News (22 July 2021).
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Medical schemes will struggle to effect high increases next year

23 Jul 2021
Medical scheme members may be in for lower premium increases next year if Covid-19 doesn’t suddenly throw the industry’s financials in disarray and medical aid claims patterns stay the way they’ve been up to now, reported Fin24 (23 July 2021). 
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Covid-19 drives excess natural deaths to more than 200 000

23 Jul 2021
 According to the latest weekly report from the Medical Research Council (MRC) more than three quarters of the 203 000 excess deaths from natural causes that have occurred in SA in the past 15 months were among people aged 60 or above.
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Vaccination rate lags among non-medical scheme members

22 Jul 2021
SA’s uninsured population is proving hardest to reach in urban areas, particularly in townships, where it is difficult to motivate people to be vaccinated, Health Department’s deputy director-general for National Health Insurance, Nicholas Crisp, told Parliament. (Business Day, 22 July 2021)
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Pfizer agrees to SA production of jabs

22 Jul 2021
State-backed vaccine distributor Biovac Institute has reached an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to help manufacture 100-m doses of its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine a year for African countries. It will be the first company in Africa to be involved in the production of an mRNA-based vaccine and joins a global network of more than 20 contractors involved in production of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, reported Business Day (22 July 2021)
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Support for Discovery members in KwaZulu-Natal and other affected areas

22 Jul 2021

In light of the recent unrest and lootings in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Nata,l Discovery Health has sent a special circular to its members, ensuring them of ongoing access to the scheme’s healthcare services. This include: no hospital network restrictions; dedicated assistance during and after traumatic events; continued access to chronic medication, ongoing support for expecting mothers and early childhood; Vital consultations through Discovery Connected care; access to Covid-19 support; and the rollout of the Discovery Covid-19 vaccination programme


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'Covid-19 reveals healthcare weaknesses'

21 Jul 2021
“The crisis brought about by the Covid19 pandemic has not only revealed the systemic weaknesses in healthcare infrastructure in many places, but also that the developing world remains far too reliant on rich countries to discover, develop, manufacture and supply the rest of us with vaccines and medicines,” wrote Kelly Chibale,founder and director of H3D, in The Star (21 July 21 (2021).
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US government pumps $200m into Aspen vaccine plant

21 Jul 2021
The US government has announced that it will pump $200 m dollars into the Aspen Pharmaceutical plant in Gqeberha to expand its Johnson & Johnson vaccine production for Africa. – News24 (21 July 2021).
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COVID-19: The big wave is coming

09 Jun 2020

“It is only a matter of time before the rest of South Africa reaches the surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases currently being experienced in the Western Cape, experts warn,” reported City Press (7 June 2020).


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