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Vaccines and Covid-19: Here’s who you should follow on Twitter for accurate info

17 March 2021 - 08:50 By cebelihle bhengu
Prof Salim Abdool Karim chairs the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19. File photo.
Prof Salim Abdool Karim chairs the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19. File photo.
Image: TREVOR SAMSON

Health care experts continue to be at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 as health workers receive the vaccine across the country.

SA confirmed its first case of Covid-19 in March last year and experts have helped millions sift through the medical jargon to better understand the coronavirus.

The first batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrived in SA last month and are being administered through the Sisonke programme.

SA aims to vaccinate 67% of its population, or about 40 million people, to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19.

Here are five experts you need to follow on social media for accurate information about the coronavirus and the vaccines:

Linda-Gail Bekker : @LindaGailBekker

Prof Bekker is a co-lead investigator of the Sisonke trial.

She recently told the Sunday Times the ongoing clinical trials are progressing well and she is optimistic about the next phases of the vaccine rollout.

Bekker is also a researcher and director at the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre and the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF). 

Shabir Madhi: @ShabirMadh

Madhi is a professor of vaccinology and director of the Wits Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit at Wits University.

He is passionate about “creating a healthier life for children by prevention of diseases through vaccination”, according to his Twitter bio.

Mia Malan: @MiaMalan

Malan is a seasoned health reporter, commentator and editor-in-chief at Bhekisisa Centre for health journalism. She has reported on many health issues including the HIV pandemic.

In her recent TedTalk, she said reporting on Covid-19 is much more fast-paced because it spreads faster than HIV.

“This means research comes out at the speed of light and often comes out without being peer-reviewed. This means what you report on is not always correct. It’s very hard to figure out if the science is correct,” she said.

Graeme Meintjes: @graemin

Meintjes is a researcher at the University of Cape Town and an infectious diseases doctor. He focuses on HIV, TB and Covid-19.

Early last year, he helped shed light on the impact of Covid-19 among youth and how the disease affects people living with HIV and tuberculosis.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim: @ProfAbdoolKarim

Abdool Karim is co-director of the Centre for Aids Research in Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and chair of the 45-member ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19.

He is one of the experts who delved into the first cases of Covid-19 last year and regularly keeps South Africans informed about the government’s response to the pandemic.


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