Covid19: Vaccines Are Likely to Protect Against the New Variant, NICD Says as More Cases Are Reported

Covid19: Vaccines Are Likely to Protect Against the New Variant, NICD Says as More Cases Are Reported

  • The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has stated that it is likely that currently available Covid-19 vaccines can protect people against the new variant
  • The institute and the health department have urged South Africans to get vaccinated to stop mutations
  • President Ramaphosa will meet with relevant parties on Sunday to discuss how South Africa should respond to the new variant

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CAPE TOWN - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has said that, although not much is known about the new Covid-19 variant, the vaccines which are currently available should protect people against it.

The health department and related officials encourage South Africans to get vaccinated as it could not only protect against the variant but also decrease the severity of the upcoming fourth wave.

EWN reports that Botswana and Hong Kong have collectively reported 22 cases of the new Covid-19 variant.

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COVID-19, NICD, Covid-19 vaccine, coronavirus, new Covid-19 variant
The NICD has stated that Covid-19 vaccines may be effective against the new variant. Image: Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Vaccines as a tool for variant management

Joe Phaahla, the Minister of Health, has said that vaccine hesitancy and a slow uptake are concerning as this could cause a severe fourth wave at the end of the year. He added that the more vaccinated people there are, the less likely mutations are to happen.

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"As South Africans, we are only at 41% and the numbers have been reducing. We've been struggling to get 150,000 in a day," Phaahla said.

According to News24, President Ramaphosa will hold a meeting to talk about the new variant with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Sunday (28 Nov). The conclusions drawn by the NCCC during the meeting will be shared next week.

Reactions to vaccine efficacy

@Zolotoph_31 asks:

"Why did I vaccinate?"

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@Dominic27i believes:

"The "fully vaxxed gang" will be required to renew their vaccines with immediate effect."

@the_only_theo said:

"Before bringing us some nonsense bring us the facts as to how effective your previous measures have been @PresidencyZA. How many lives saved? How many field hospitals built to cope with high numbers and manage to keep the economy going? How much lost? Quantify bra."

@Thulani90458483 shared:

"The new variant waited for elections... Boom after the elections... this Covid is too clever."

@Sgigo12 asked:

"Most people passing that variant are vaccinated so how does it work?"

Lockdown not necessary as 4th wave approaches

Yesterday, Briefly News reported that Professor Mosa Moshabela from the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Vaccinology Department says that it may not be necessary for South Africa to enter into a lockdown as the fourth wave approaches.

The fourth wave of Covid-19 is predicted to sweep South Africa from either mid-December 2021 or early January 2022. According to Joe Phaahla, South Africa's health minister, the fourth wave should be the mildest one South Africa has experienced so far.

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Phaahla said that despite this, the government is monitoring the number of infections and hospital admissions and will adjust restrictions if need be. As 40% of South Africans are vaccinated, the fourth wave should be less severe.

South Africa's total number of recorded infections is 2,950,035 with 89,657 fatalities. Currently, 2,106 people are in the hospital battling a Covid-19 infection. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), more people are going for viral swab tests.

Source: Briefly.co.za

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