The HSRC/ USAF Medal for Social Sciences and Humanities 2020/21
DATE: 18 March 2021
2020/21 Human Research Council - Universities South Africa
Message from the CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council,Professor Crain Soudien
At the end of March 2021, South Africa would have been in lockdown for just over 365 days, the entire year. While almost 1.5 million people have been infected by COVID-19 and 50000 have succumbed to the virus, the arrival of the approved vaccines in the country at the beginning of February 2021, has also brought a ray of hope and to date, South Africa is implementing an aggressive vaccination programme.
Undoubtedly, the effects on the country have been devastating with unemployment rates reaching their highest level since 2008. Yet there has also been almost unanimous acceptance that science is the kingpin on which our recovery will be based. That South Africa has fared better than expected, can equally be attributed to the fact that science has been at the heart of its response.
Globally virologists, immunologists, vaccinologists and public health specialists have stepped up to the proverbial plate and in an unprecedented development, we now have a number of vaccines that will provide us with a large degree of protection. Although the immediate cause of our problems are biological, the effects are social and the solutions lie at the crossroads between the medical and behavioural sciences.
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