|Are vaccines working in the Seychelles?|
|The world’s most vaccinated nation has closed schools and told households they can’t mingle.|
It wasn’t meant to be like this. In January Seychelles, a tropical paradise lying off the east coast of Africa eager to get its key tourism industry back up and running, raced to vaccinate its almost 100,000 people. It first used a donation of China’s Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine, then a gift of Covishield, the shots made under license from AstraZeneca in India.
To date, 62.2% of its population has received at least two doses of the vaccines, yet active cases more than doubled in the week to May 7. The government hasn’t provided details on the surge. Of the reported infections, 37% occurred in people who were fully vaccinated, according to the health ministry.
There are many unanswered questions, and those questions are of global significance.
How sick are those infected? Which vaccine did they receive? Is the B.1.351 variant—first identified in South Africa late last year and later found to be able to largely evade the AstraZeneca vaccine—dominant on the archipelago?
If the Sinopharm vaccine is proving ineffective, that’s bad news for countries such as Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Venezuela, all of which are using the shot in their vaccination programs. If the people infected took the Covishield vaccine, that means the AstraZeneca inoculation that forms the bulk of the vaccines being shipped to the world’s poorest countries through the Covax program could be problematic.
The World Health Organization, which is in contact with the Seychelles, said vaccine failure couldn’t be determined without a detailed assessment and that it was working on evaluating the situation. The evaluation needs to look at factors like strains of the virus and the severity of cases.
Or could there be another explanation? So far, the authorities have simply said the numbers shot up after Easter celebrations and that those who have been vaccinated are taking fewer precautions.
Whatever the reason, the world needs answers. As Daniel Lucey, a clinical professor of medicine at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, says:
“Given the widespread international use of these two vaccines, there are global implications to what is happening now in the Seychelles,” he says. “The variant B.1.351 or a novel variant must be ruled out ASAP by large-scale genetic sequencing.”—Antony Sguazzin
Had my 2nd jab on Tuesday evening. Apart from a sore arm and a very mild sore throat I was fine. The sore throat could also be because I was hosting numerous workshops over Teams Monday and Tuesday and pretty much didn't stop talking for 2 days...All dosed up today!
I'm getting a feeling this new Indian strain is a bit of a concern. I keep hearing the GOV are not rulling out local lockdowns (Bolton being one) which has seen a big increase. They're looking to speed up vaccinations in these area's including the kids vaccine.I notice the ZOE app for my area (Chelmsford) is showing an increase in cases from 11 last week to 19 this week. Still very low, and I guess low numbers are more likely to jump around if small clusters are found, but not moving in the right direction and I think the first increase in quite a while.
They've changed how they are calculating things so numbers have increased :)I notice the ZOE app for my area (Chelmsford) is showing an increase in cases from 11 last week to 19 this week. Still very low, and I guess low numbers are more likely to jump around if small clusters are found, but not moving in the right direction and I think the first increase in quite a while.
Phew, I know they changed methodology a few weeks ago, but hadn't realised they had again. Hopefully that's the reason, the week on week change is not like for like this weekThey've changed how they are calculating things so numbers have increased :)
Can you clarify the GP's, are they returning to face to face appointments or maintaining phone appointments first?I don’t seem to be coming across many cases these days and certainly in the care homes it is currently all under control although in fairness the homes are still quite strict on who they let in and have to follow certain protocol.
On another note we had a generic letter come round informing that GP surgeries have not go to open up again for face to face appointments which is good news.
We have been told that all surgeries should recommence face to face appointments and that a choice should be given if a person would like a phone consult when you telephone the surgery for an appointmentCan you clarify the GP's, are they returning to face to face appointments or maintaining phone appointments first?