Seychelles, which vaccinated more of its population against Covid 19 than any other country which has active cases, increased more than double in the week to May 7. This is raising concerns that inoculation is not helping turn the tide in some places. The WHO said vaccine failure couldn’t be determined without a detailed assessment and that it was working on evaluating the situation.
Kate O’Brien, director of the WHO’s department of immunization, vaccines and biologicals, told that the body was in direct communication with Seychelles and that a detailed assessment was needed looking at factors like strains of the virus and the severity of cases. The Health Ministry of the archipelago off Africa’s east coast said that the number of active cases had more than doubled since last week to 2,486 people, and 37% of those have received two vaccine doses. Cases are also increasing in the Maldives, another Indian Ocean island nation that’s a popular tourism destination.
The country had raced to vaccinate its population of just under 100,000 first with a donation of doses from China’s Sinopharm and then with a gift of Covishield, so it could reopen to the tourists who are the lifeblood of its economy. The Covid 19 B.1.351 variant which was first identified in South Africa late last year, was found in Seychelles in February. AstraZeneca’s vaccine appeared to be less effective against that variant in a study, and South Africa halted plans to use those injections.