Covid-19 update: Moderna vaccine provides Africa with renewed hope

Covid-19 update: Moderna vaccine provides Africa with renewed hope

After Africa learnt that it most likely won't benefit from Pfizer's vaccine, hope has come in the form of a new breakthrough. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic.

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Africans recently learn that Pfizer's widely heralded vaccine would likely never be widely used locally to combat Covid-19.

However, a newly lauded vaccine has provided some renewed hope that a more tangible answer is indeed on the horizon.

Briefly.co.za explores the latest Covid-19 updates below:

coronavirus

This new vaccine is a glimmer of hope for Africans amid the global pandemic. Image: Pexels
Source: UGC

1. Moderna vaccine 94.5% effective- Report

US firm Moderna has announced that its experimental vaccine against the coronavirus was 94.5% effective, a second major breakthrough in the race towards a vaccine.

AFP reports that Stephane Bancel, Moderna's CEO, ha confirmed that the interim analysis of late-stage studies has given 'clinical validation' that the vaccine has the ability to prevent Covid-19.

Covid-19 update: SA likely won't benefit from Pfizer's vaccine

The company aims to obtain emergency approval in the United States and other countries within the next few weeks and expects to have 20 million doses ready to ship by the end of this year.

BusinessLIVE reports that this find is a major breakthrough for African nations due to the fact that the vaccine can remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures.

The company had also revealed that it would be able to withstand long-term storage in freezer temperatures considered standard for a period of up to six months.

While it remains unclear how long the effects of the vaccine will last or what the impact on elderly patients will be, Peter Openshaw from the Imperial College of London hailed the company for their efforts:

"This news from Moderna is tremendously exciting and considerably boosts optimism that we will have a choice of good vaccines in the next few months."
Covid-19 update: Report hints stricter lockdown may be loading

2. Mkhize on latest statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided citizens with another update on the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued by the Department of Health on Monday evening, Mkhize commented:

"As of today, the cumulative number of detected COVID-19 cases is 752 269 with 1 245 new cases identified since the last report."

In addition to the rise in infections, Mkhize confirmed the latest number of fatalities:

"Regrettably, 73 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 32, Free State 23, Gauteng 7 and Western Cape 11."
"This brings the total deaths to 20 314. Of the 73 deaths, 15 reportedly occurred in the last 48 hours: 7 in the Eastern Cape, 2 in Gauteng, and 6 in the Western Cape."

The Minister further reported that recoveries now stand at 695 496 which translates to a recovery rate of 92,5%.

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that a report has explained that South Africa likely won't have wide access to Pfizer and BioNTECH's Covid-19 vaccine which has shown highly positive results during late-stage trials.

Covid-19 update: Pfizer vaccine 'strongly effective' in early days

This is due to the fact that the vaccine needs below freezing temperatures, a difficult feat in sunny SA.

The report indicates that large hospitals in the US are currently lining up to purchase highly expensive freezers that cost between R150 000 and R235 000 each, while the company seeks out emergency approval for the vaccine.

This means that, save for a few highly specialised institutions, South Africans will need to wait for a more viable candidate.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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