Editor's Choice


From the editor's desk: 2022 must be the year SA gets its vaccination act together

January 2022 Editor's Choice News

This is his last "From the editor's desk" that Steven Meyer wrote before his death in early January 2022.

As I write this column at the end of November, the world is once again plunged into uncertainty by the emergence of a new mutation of the coronavirus. First observed by local researchers in southern Africa, the detection of the Omicron variant sent shivers through the developed world resulting in an instantaneous knee-jerk reaction.


Steven Meyer, Editor.

Travel bans were immediately put in place just as the region’s tourism industry was gearing itself for the influx of foreign visitors seeking to swap a freezing northern hemisphere winter for some glorious African sunshine. The implications for the already beleaguered local tourism industry are potentially devastating, not to mention the negative impact on South Africa’s fragile economic recovery. Et tu Omicron?

Other problems aside though, the pandemic situation is one that we should be able to get on top of because there is now enough evidence to show that once a critical mass of a country’s population has been vaccinated, life pretty much goes back to normal. One hundred and thirty-five thousand ‘unmasked’ motorsport fans at the 2021 Indianapolis 500 is surely proof enough? And if it isn’t, how about the packed stadiums that the English football clubs are once again enjoying? (Admittedly Manchester United might wish it was still playing to empty stadiums.)

At the time of writing, the USA had vaccinated some 60% of its population (195 million people), while the UK stood at close to 70% (46 million). By contrast, South Africa lags with only 24% of its adult population (14,4 million) fully vaccinated – and therein lies the rub.

According to worldometers.info, 5 236 750 people have died of Covid-19 to date. Data on the number of deaths that can be directly attributed to the vaccine are difficult to come by, but according to covid-101.org, a total of 6207 deaths (0,0018% of doses) were reported in the USA for the period December 2020 to July 2021. Of these, three deaths were attributed to vaccine-related blood clots – now treatable – and doctors concluded that there was no corroborating evidence to suggest that the vaccine contributed directly to any other patients’ deaths. And yes, I know there is a lot of fake news out there, but dare I suggest that in this case the initial reaction to the blood clot problem was overdone due to the lack of available data at the time?

To me as an engineer (admittedly in a previous life) the data suggests that those countries with high vaccination figures are far better off than those that have dragged their heels. Feel free to write to me about this if you wish – in agreement or otherwise – as we really do need to get our act together now!

Best wishes for 2022

With the end-of-year festivities now just a memory, we at SA Instrumentation and Control hope you have all returned to work safe, rested and ready to face the challenges of another year. Here’s wishing all our readers and advertisers the very best for 2022!


Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

PC-based control for waterjets
Beckhoff Automation Editor's Choice
Control systems are subject to very specific demands from every form of production technology, including waterjet cutting. IGEMS from Sweden set itself the goal of taking this process to a new level in terms of precision and speed, and achieved it with the help of PC-based control.

Read more...
Case History 193: The big dipper.
Michael Brown Control Engineering Editor's Choice
This article gives an example of an important flow control system for flare gas in a petrochemical refinery. The control was suffering from serious problems, often cycling severely, and at other times the flow process variable (PV) would suddenly move quite a lot away from the setpoint (SP).

Read more...
From the Editor's desk: Another use for glass
Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control) News
Data is a rather important part of our lives. Anyone who has lost their phone or had a hard drive crash will know that. We have been covering data these last couple of months, with issues like the threat ...

Read more...
Edge computing: Introducing AI into the factory
Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing
As AI evolves, it is evident that the most powerful models will be cloud-based, and hosted in data centres that are beyond the control of the average business. The practical application of AI in manufacturing control and automation will only be possible if some of the computing workloads can be brought onto the plant, inside the firewall and inside the plant network.

Read more...
36 years of innovation and success
SAM Systems Automation & Management Editor's Choice System Integration & Control Systems Design
Systems Automation & Management was established in 1988 at a time when there were no other systems integrators (SIs) in the process business. SA Instrumentation & Control’s editor caught up with managing director, Claudio Agostinetto to find out more about how this thriving company has prospered over the last 36 years.

Read more...
The world’s greatest model railway
Horne Technologies Editor's Choice Motion Control & Drives
Located in Hamburg’s traditional warehouse district, Speicherstadt features the largest model railway in the world, and is one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Germany.

Read more...
Loop signature 23: Tuning part 1.
Michael Brown Control Engineering Editor's Choice
This is the first of several articles dealing with the subject of tuning. I have found that many people think that optimisation consists solely of tuning. I would stress once again that tuning is the last thing one should do when optimising regulatory controls.

Read more...
Plastics meets packaging for consistent and efficient process control
Beckhoff Automation Editor's Choice
PC- based and EtherCAT-based control and drive technology from Beckhoff represent a universal solution that transcends industry and application boundaries. This standardised and scalable automation platform offers numerous advantages. Industry experts delve into how machine builders and end users in the plastics and packaging industry can capitalise on these advantages.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: Never again
Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control) News
The recent building collapse in George shook me as it was just down the road. I experienced first hand the impact that it had on people’s lives, and the devastation caused by the loss of loved ones, ...

Read more...
Continuous corrosion resistance
ifm - South Africa Editor's Choice Sensors & Transducers
The polypropylene version of ifm’s LDL400 conductivity sensor is based on the proven LDL200 inductive conductivity sensor. Its material properties make it the ideal choice for applications in which metallic sensors tend to corrode.

Read more...