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1.
Embase;
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326920

ABSTRACT

Background: The Sisonke open-label phase 3b implementation study aimed to assess the safety and effectiveness of the Janssen Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine among health care workers (HCWs) in South Africa. Here, we present the safety data. Methods: We monitored adverse events (AEs) at vaccination sites, through self-reporting triggered by text messages after vaccination, health care provider reports and by active case finding. The frequency and incidence rate of non-serious and serious AEs were evaluated from day of first vaccination (17 February 2021) until 28 days after the final vaccination (15 June 2021). COVID-19 breakthrough infections, hospitalisations and deaths were ascertained via linkage of the electronic vaccination register with existing national databases. Findings: Of 477,234 participants, 10,279 (2.2%) reported AEs, of which 139 (1.4%) were serious. Women reported more AEs than men (2.3% vs. 1.6%). AE reports decreased with increasing age (3.2% for 18–30, 2.1% for 31-45, 1.8% for 46-55 and 1.5% in >55-year-olds). Participants with previous COVID-19 infection reported slightly more AEs (2.6% vs. 2.1%). The commonest reactogenicity events were headache and body aches, followed by injection site pain and fever, and most occurred within 48 hours of vaccination. Two cases of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome and four cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome were reported post-vaccination. Serious AEs and AEs of special interest including vascular and nervous system events, immune system disorders and deaths occurred at lower than the expected population rates. Interpretation: The single-dose Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine had an acceptable safety profile supporting the continued use of this vaccine in our setting.

2.
Samj South African Medical Journal ; 112(1):24-26, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1667657

ABSTRACT

Background. The impacts on mortality of both the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and the interventions to manage it differ between countries. The Rapid Mortality Surveillance System set up by the South African Medical Research Council based on data from the National Population Register (NPR) provides a means of tracking this impact on mortality in South Africa. Objectives. To report on the change in key metrics of mortality (numbers of deaths, life expectancy at birth, life expectancy at age 60, and infant, under-5, older child and adolescent, young adult, and adult mortality) over the period 2015 - 2020. The key features of the impact are contrasted with those measured in other countries. Methods. The numbers of registered deaths by age and sex recorded on the NPR were increased to account for both registered deaths that are not captured by the NPR and an estimate of deaths not reported. The estimated numbers of deaths together with estimates of the numbers in the population in the middle of each of the years were used to produce life tables and calculate various indicators. Results. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of deaths increased by nearly 53-000 (65% female), and life expectancy at birth fell by 1 year for females and by only 2.5 months for males. Life expectancy at age 60 decreased by 1.6 years for females and 1.2 years for males. Infant mortality, under-5 mortality and mortality of children aged 5 - 14 decreased by 22%, 20% and 10%, respectively, while that for older children and adolescents decreased by 11% for males and 5% for females. Premature adult mortality, the probability of a 15-year-old dying before age 60, increased by 2% for males and 9% for females. Conclusions. COVID-19 and the interventions to manage it had differential impacts on mortality by age and sex. The impact of the epidemic on life expectancy in 2020 differs from that in most other, mainly developed, countries, both in the limited decline and also in the greater impact on females. These empirical estimates of life expectancy and mortality rates are not reflected by estimates from agencies, either because agency estimates have yet to be updated for the impact of the epidemic or because they have not allowed for the impact correctly. Trends in weekly excess deaths suggest that the drop in life expectancy in 2021 will be greater than that in 2020.

3.
S Afr Med J ; 111(9): 834-837, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404036

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) restrictions, particularly relating to the sale of alcohol and hours of curfew, have had a marked effect on the temporal pattern of unnatural deaths in South Africa. Methods. Death data were collected over 68 weeks from January 2020 to April 2021, together with information on the nature of restrictions (if any) on the sale of alcohol, and hours of curfew. Data were analysed using a simple ordinary least square (OLS) regression model to estimate the relative contribution of restrictions on the sale of alcohol and hours of curfew to the pattern of excess unnatural deaths. Results. The complete restriction on the sale of alcohol resulted in a statistically significant reduction in unnatural deaths regardless of the length of curfew. To the contrary, periods where no or limited restrictions on alcohol were in force had no significant effect, or resulted in significantly increased unnatural deaths. Conclusions. The present study highlights an association between alcohol availability and the number of unnatural deaths and demonstrates the extent to which those deaths might be averted by disrupting the alcohol supply. While this is not a long-term solution to addressing alcohol-related harm, it further raises the importance of implementing evidence-based alcohol control measures.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking/legislation & jurisprudence , Alcoholic Beverages/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19 , Commerce/legislation & jurisprudence , Alcoholic Beverages/economics , Cause of Death , Humans , Social Control, Formal , South Africa , Time Factors
4.
S Afr Med J ; 111(8): 732-740, 2021 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355172

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Producing timely and accurate estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on mortality is challenging for most countries, but impossible for South Africa (SA) from cause-of-death statistics. Objectives. To quantify the excess deaths and likely magnitude of COVID-19 in SA in 2020 and draw conclusions on monitoring the epidemic in 2021. Methods. Basic details of deaths registered on the National Population Register by the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) are provided to the South African Medical Research Council weekly. Adjustments are made to the numbers of weekly deaths to account for non-registration on the population register, as well as late registration of death with the DoHA. The weekly number of deaths is compared with the number predicted based on the Holt-Winters time-series analysis of past deaths for provinces and metropolitan areas. Excess deaths were calculated for all-causes deaths and natural deaths, using the predicted deaths as a baseline. In addition, an adjustment was made to the baseline for natural deaths to account for the drop in natural deaths due to lockdown. Results. We estimated that just over 550 000 deaths occurred among persons aged ≥1 year during 2020, 13% higher than the 485 000 predicted before the pandemic. A pronounced increase in weekly deaths from natural causes peaked in the middle of July across all ages except <20 years, and across all provinces with slightly different timing. During December, it became clear that SA was experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 that would exceed the death toll of the first wave. In 2020, there were 70 000 - 76 000 excess deaths from natural causes, depending on the base. Using the adjusted base, the excess death rate from natural causes was 122 per 100 000 population, with a male-to-female ratio of 0.78. Deaths from unnatural causes halved for both males and females during the stringent lockdown level 5. The numbers reverted towards the predicted number with some fluctuations as lockdown restrictions varied. Just under 5 000 unnatural deaths were averted. Conclusions. Tracking the weekly numbers of deaths in near to real time has provided important information about the spatiotemporal impact of the pandemic and highlights that the ~28 000 reported COVID-19 deaths during 2020 substantially understate the death toll from COVID-19. There is an urgent need to re-engineer the system of collecting and processing cause-of-death information so that it can be accessed in a timely way to inform public health actions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Mortality/trends , Population Surveillance/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cause of Death/trends , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , South Africa/epidemiology
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