Teens, vaccines and a solution for needlephobes

  • Teens won’t let Covid-19 rule their lives anymore. Ever since the department of health announced three weeks ago that children aged 12 to 17 can get vaccinated, 169 885 teens have been vaccinated! They’ve totally put older generations to shame with their enthusiasm and (we hope) disregard for fake news. They’re helping South Africa increase vaccine uptake. So far over 22 million vaccines have been administered, bringing us ever closer to our goal of herd immunity. Women still make up the majority of those getting vaxxed. So, teens and ladies, let’s get the older men going: we want Dezemba back this year! 
  • Is your fear of needles stopping you from getting the Covid-19 vaccine? Keep calm and thank science, because South Africa is running trials to administer the vaccine orally. The vaccine, Oravax, was developed by US-Israeli company Oramed Pharmaceuticals. The South African Health and Regulatory Authority gave the company the go-ahead to run the first phase of the trial last week, according to reports. It is being conducted on 24 volunteers in Johannesburg, with results projected to be released by mid-2022. Why was South Africa selected to run this trial? Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron says South Africa “was undervalued by international companies yet offered great potential”. We agree with him there. There could also possibly be vaccine skin patches on the market soon. Scientists say they would be more accessible because they are self-administered and don’t need to be stored in cold temperatures. Plus, they’re likely to elicit a stronger immune response because the spikes on the patch are coated with dry vaccine substance (said to be more stable than liquid vaccine) and the drug is administered via the skin, which has tons of immune cells. This could be the next big thing for us. Would you try it? 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 4 November 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.