The Anglo-Swedish vaccine is ineffective against the B.1.351 variant (called “South Africa”), although it has been declared in 18 countries.
Delivery is delayed and safety is questioned, especially the so-called “South Africa” variant, which has reduced efficacy: the problem surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine is getting worse, and almost all African countries rely on the vaccine to carry out vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 . The Covax international solidarity mechanism has chosen the cheapest and easiest to use Anglo-Swedish solution, which must ensure that 20% of the population in 92 low- and middle-income countries receive free vaccination.
All countries on the African continent are eligible, 31 of which have received about 16 million doses. India, which had previously contracted vaccine production to the Serum Institute of India, was forced to suspend export orders from India. government. On Tuesday, April 6, the laboratory hinted that if the country’s epidemic is brought under control, its delivery could be resumed in June.John Nkengasong, director of the CDC-Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-Africa), has not concealed that long delays may become “There is a real problem with the vaccination campaign”.
The spread of the “South Africa” variant has cast a more worrying shadow on the consequences of the health crisis. On February 9, the South African government chose to shelve its order of one million doses of AstraZeneca. A study conducted by the Krisp Laboratory (KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform) in Durban has just shown that the vaccine’s effect on moderate forms of disease collapsed in the presence of the B.1.351 mutation. In the severe form of infection, the behavior of the vaccine does not give an answer.
However, the infectivity of this variant is suspected to be mainly at the cause of the second wave, which is more deadly. It affected southern Africa at the end of 2020. Since then, the mutant strain spread rapidly and has been announced in 18 countries in two countries. The border between South Africa and the western end of the African continent, such as Gambia. “This is one of the themes that prevents me from falling asleep”, Matshidiso Moeti, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Office, expressed his gratitude.
A genome surveillance network funded by the World Health Organization and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been established to monitor the spread of the virus and its variants. It is based on twelve laboratories with sequencing capabilities and theoretically sends virus samples to poor countries (majority) every month, and these countries account for the majority.