July 3, 2022

S.Africa vaccines claim to help mild cases of pre-infection Govt cases

  • S.Africa has recorded daily infections recorded this week
  • The fourth wave driven by the Omigron variant
  • Slight increase in Govt-19 related deaths
  • Mainly unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated deaths

JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 17 (Reuters) – South Africa’s health minister said on Friday that vaccines and high doses of Govit-19 infections could help keep the disease at bay, in waves driven by the Omigran variant.

There are early case accounts that Omigran causes less serious disease in South Africa than previous variants, but scientists say it is too early to make definitive conclusions. read more

Daily infections were reported in the country earlier this week. read more

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“We believe Omigran does not have to be low-dose,” Joe Pahla told a news conference.

South Africa has provided at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 44% of its adult population, much higher than many African countries but far below the government’s year – end goal. But vaccine coverage levels are over 60% in those over 50 years of age.

Speaking at the same press conference, Michael Groom said there has been an increase in the number of hospital admissions and deaths at the Govt-19 hospital at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (NICD).

A pharmacist prepares the Pfizer vaccine for the corona virus disease (COVID-19) on December 04, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa, amid the spread of SARS-CoV-2 type omigran. REUTERS / Sumaya Hisham

“Nationwide deaths have begun to show a slight increase, but again this level is much lower than the base period we see between the second and third waves,” said Groom, who heads the NICD’s public health, surveillance and division. Answer

Waasila Jassat, a public health expert at NICD, estimates that more than half of the Govt-19-related deaths in hospitals since mid-November were due to illness or old age. “A fair proportion of them were admitted for other reasons and died of other causes”.

He said the vaccination data for the deaths was incomplete, but it appears from self-reported information that 93% of the deaths belong to people who have not been vaccinated or who have not been fully vaccinated. He added that a further 3.5% of the dead had been vaccinated five or six months earlier.

Fahla said there were early signs that the epidemic may have peaked in the densely populated province of Gauteng, where cases initially increased.

He said the health department would report to the National Corona Virus Command Council next week on whether the COVID-19 restrictions should be adjusted.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, said on Friday that he was recovering well from COVID-19 and was making good progress as he continued to receive treatment for mild symptoms.

Presented by Johnson & Johnson to Ramaphosa (JNJ.N) One dose vaccinated in February. read more

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Report by Alexander Winning; Editing: Christopher Cushing and Giles Elcut

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.