South Africa Reassesses Its Vaccine Strategy - What You Need to Know

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After clinical trial data showed that one of the most readily available vaccines, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, did not work well against the 501Y.V2 mutation of the coronavirus, currently dominant throughout SA, the country had to restrategise on how to battle a virus that is fighting back.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says levels of immunity, vaccination coverage and the impact of the 501Y.V2 mutation of the coronavirus, first identified in South Africa, are some of the key factors they are studying to determine the likelihood and severity of a third wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

Apart from population behaviour and adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as the washing of hands, mask-wearing and social distancing; vaccination coverage, the NICD said, would play an important role.

"While there is considerable uncertainty regarding many of these parameters, another resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 is likely. Predicting the timing and scale of further resurgences is, however, difficult," the NICD said.

The co-chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, said on Sunday that South Africa was emerging from the second wave of infection with decreasing infection numbers across the board.

However, the country hit a major stumbling block...

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