Seychelles Data To Be Reviewed After Reports Of Covid-19 Re-Infections

The World Health Organization (WHO) would be reviewing coronavirus data from Seychelles after the country revealed that more than a third of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week had received the recommended double dose of the vaccines.

On Friday, the WHO approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use. A decision that allows the vaccine to be included in COVAX, a global programme to provide vaccines mainly for poorer countries.

Prior to the new vaccine introduction, Seychelles’ Ministry Of Health had said the WHO maintained that a majority of those who tested positive had not been vaccinated or had only received one dose, that no one who had died had been fully vaccinated and that nearly all of those needing treatment for severe or critical cases were unvaccinated which did not entirely contradict reports of re-infection despite vaccination.

The WHO has assured everyone that it was closely following the situation in the Indian Ocean nation, which has a population of less than 100,000,

“Our teams continue to review the data, assess progress and understand the trends,” a spokeswoman told the Reuters news agency by email.

The seven-day rolling average of positive cases increased from 120 on April 30 to 314 on May 8, the ministry said in a statement late on Monday, with almost two-thirds of the positive cases being close contacts of another person testing positive.

Some 37 percent of those testing positive had received both doses of a vaccine, it said.

To date, 57 percent of those who have been fully vaccinated have received the vaccine from China’s state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm, while 43 percent have received AstraZeneca shots, it said. Nearly 60 percent of the population have had two doses, the WHO said.

The ministry said 80 percent of those needing hospital treatment had not been vaccinated and tended to be people with comorbidities. The ministry could not immediately be reached for further comment.

The WHO has said a large Phase III trial of Sinopharm has shown that two doses, administered at an interval of 21 days, have an efficacy of 79 percent against symptomatic infection, 14 or more days after the second dose. Hence, people are warned that vaccination alone would not stop transmission entirely, and preventive health measures such as social distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing must continue.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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