COVID-19 makes a comeback in the world’s most vaccinated nation, raising concerns about the Chinese vaccine.

COVID-19 makes a comeback in the world’s most vaccinated nation, raising concerns about the Chinese vaccine. covid19 vaccine

Despite becoming the world’s most vaccinated nation, the 115-island archipelago of Seychelles is experiencing a dramatic rebound in COVID-19 transmission, with regular case rates “higher than India,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Approximately 67 percent of the population of Seychelles has been vaccinated to date; the bulk of those vaccinated got Sinopharm, a Chinese vaccination, while the others received Covishield, a derivative of AstraZeneca’s shot manufactured in India. “More than one third of recent active cases are individuals who are completely vaccinated,” the island nation’s health ministry says. Authorities have not said how many of the recent cases are among Sinopharm recipients, but the Journal reports that “the condition is being watched all over the world for what it says about vaccine efficacy.”

Approximately 67 percent of the population of Seychelles has been vaccinated to date; the bulk of those vaccinated got Sinopharm, a Chinese vaccination, while the others received Covishield, a derivative of AstraZeneca’s shot manufactured in India. “More than one third of recent active cases are individuals who are completely vaccinated,” the island nation’s health ministry says. Authorities have not said how many of the recent cases are among Sinopharm recipients, but the Journal reports that “the condition is being watched all over the world for what it says about vaccine efficacy.”

Despite no evidence on its effectiveness in patients over 60, the World Health Organization approved the Sinopharm shot for emergency, global use on Friday. The approval is supposed to help “alleviate a serious shortage of doses in the developing world, as vaccine shipments from COVID-19-stricken India grind to a halt,” according to the Journal.

The Seychelles government recently implemented new preventative initiatives, such as early bar closes and bans on household intermingling, to help stem the spread of infections.

The good news is that most of Seychelles’ outbreaks tend to be minor, according to Kate O’ Brien, WHO chief of immunizations, vaccines, and biologicals. “The Sinopharm vaccine actually does take two doses,” she said, “and some of the cases that have been identified are happening either soon after a single dose or soon after a second dose.”

WHO reviewing Seychelles COVID-19 data after fully vaccinated people test positive

Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, in February. The tiny island nation, with a population of just over 100,000, is now battling a surge of the coronavirus and has had to reimpose a lockdown.

NAIROBI, Kenya (Reuters) – The World Health Organization announced on Tuesday that it was analyzing coronavirus results from Seychelles after the health ministry announced that more than a third of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous week had received complete vaccination.

All the ministry and the WHO emphasized that the majority of people who tested positive had not been vaccinated or had only received one injection, that no one who died had been adequately vaccinated, and that almost half of those who required medication for serious or vital cases had not been vaccinated.

The WHO, on the other hand, said it was keeping a close eye on the situation in the Indian Ocean nation, which has a population of less than 100,000 people and regular cases in the low hundreds.

By email, a spokeswoman said, “Our teams continue to analyze the results, measure success, and understand the patterns.”

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

According to the study, 37 percent of those who tested positive had administered all vaccine doses.

 

According to the company, 57 percent of those who have been properly vaccinated have received the vaccine from Sinopharm, while 43 percent have received AstraZeneca injections. According to the WHO, about 60% of the population has received two doses.
According to the ministry, 80 percent of those who needed emergency care have not been vaccinated and were more likely to have co-morbidities. The ministry could not be contacted for comment right away.
According to the WHO, a major Phase III study of Sinopharm found that two doses given at a 21-day interval have a 79 percent effectiveness against symptomatic infection 14 or more days after the second dose. AstraZeneca announced in March that its COVID-19 vaccine had been approved.

The Sinopharm vaccine was approved for emergency use by the WHO on Friday. The decision further paves the way for the vaccine to be used in COVAX, a global vaccine distribution initiative aimed mostly at developing countries.

After the pandemic started, there have been fewer than 8,200 confirmed cases in Seychelles. The number of cases decreased marginally from May 7 to 8, according to the ministry, but “the rate of transmission remains high and is of concern.”

Vaccination alone, according to the WHO, would not completely eliminate transmission; thus, preventive health interventions such as social distancing, mask use, and hand washing must continue.

Marie Neige, a Seychelles call center director, was eager to get vaccinated. She was given China’s Sinopharm vaccine in March, like the rest of people on the tiny island country, and was looking forward to being completely vaccinated in a few weeks.

She tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday.

“I was shocked,” Neige, 30, who is secluded at home, said. She seems to have lost her sense of smell and taste, as well as a sore throat. “The vaccine was intended to shield us from the effects, not the virus,” she said. “I was taking precaution after precaution,” says the narrator.

 

Sinopharm vaccines were supposed to be the cornerstone of China’s vaccine diplomacy policy, providing a readily transportable dose that would cover not only Chinese civilians but also most of the developing world. According to Bridge Beijing, a company that monitors China’s effect on global health, China has contributed 13.3 million Sinopharm doses to other countries in an effort to gain goodwill.

Instead, the firm, which has produced two types of coronavirus vaccines, is under increasing scrutiny over the vaccines. The first issue was the company’s lack of clarity when it came to late-stage trial results. Seychelles, the world’s most vaccinated country, is now seeing a boom in vaccinations.

despite the fact that a large portion of the population had been inoculated with Sinopharm.

The news is a blow for the 56 countries that were relying on the Sinopharm shot to help them stop the pandemic.

Public health researchers have been working for months to narrow the connectivity gap between rich and developing countries. Scientists are now alert that developing countries that use Chinese vaccines, due to their lower effectiveness rates, risk falling behind countries that use vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. This chasm could cause the pandemic to spread in countries with little resources to combat it.

Raina MacIntyre, who leads the biosecurity program at the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute in Sydney, said, “You just need to use high-efficacy vaccines to have the economic value or otherwise they’re going to be dealing with the disease long-term.” “Vaccine selection is critical.”

Seychelles, which depended heavily on a Sinopharm vaccine to inoculate more than 60% of its population, has seen the effects firsthand. With a population of just over 100,000 people, the tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar is fighting a virus outbreak and has had to reimpose a lockdown.

Sinopharm was given to 57 percent of the vaccinated population who had received two doses, while AstraZeneca was given to 43 percent. According to the health ministry, 37% of new active patients are individuals who are completely vaccinated, though it does not specify how many of them received the Sinopharm vaccine.

Dr. Kim Mulholland, a pediatrician at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, who has overseen several vaccination trials, including those for a COVID-19 vaccine, said, “On the surface, that’s a disturbing discovery.”

According to Mulholland, the initial results from Seychelles indicate a 50% efficacy rate for the vaccine, less than the 78.1 percent rate touted by the firm.

“We would hope to see the epidemic fade away in a world where the vast majority of the adult population has been vaccinated with an efficient vaccine,” he added.

Breakthrough infections are common, according to scientists, and no vaccine is 100% safe. However, the situation in the Seychelles is in stark contrast to Israel, which has the world’s second-highest vaccine rate and has successfully fought the epidemic. According to a report, Israel’s Pfizer vaccine is 94 percent successful at stopping transmission.

According to The World In Data programme, the number of regular new confirmed COVID-19 cases per 1 million inhabitants in Seychelles was 2,613.38, compared to 5.55 in Israel on Wednesday.

The president of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, defended the country’s vaccination policy, claiming that Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines had “served our people very well.” He noted that the Sinopharm vaccine was only provided to adults aged 18 to 60, and that 80 percent of the patients who were to be hospitalized in this age range were not vaccinated.

“Perhaps people are contagious, but they are not ill. He told the Seychelles News Agency, “Only a limited number are.” “So, what’s going on here is normal.”

According to the Seychelles News Agency, Sylvestre Radegonde, the minister for international affairs and tourism, said the increase in cases in Seychelles was partly due to citizens letting their guard down. A call for comment from Sinopharm was not returned.

A spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry criticized Western media for seeking to misrepresent Chinese vaccinations and “harboring the attitude that “anything about China needs to be smeared” in response to a Wall Street Journal report on Seychelles.

The World Health Organization’s head of immunizations, Kate O’Brien, said at a press conference that the organisation is evaluating the surge in diseases in Seychelles and that the situation is “complicated.” The Sinopharm vaccine was approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization last week, boosting hopes of an end to a global supply shortage.

“Some of the recorded cases are emerging either soon after a single dose, soon after a second dose, or between the first and second doses,” she added.

According to O’Brien, the WHO is investigating the strains currently circulating in the world, as well as when incidents happened in relation to when people were given doses and the seriousness of each outbreak. “Only by doing the kind of analysis will we determine whether or not there are vaccine failures,” she said.

However, some scientists believe it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Sinopharm vaccine does not provide a clear road to herd immunity, particularly given the numerous variants that have emerged across the world.

Governments who use the Sinopharm vaccine should expect a high failure rate and prepare accordingly, according to John Moore, a vaccine specialist at Cornell University.

Many people in Seychelles believe the government has been unresponsive.

“My question is why did they force anyone to take it?” says the author. Diana Lucas, a 27-year-old waitress who tested positive on May 10, expressed her disappointment. She got her second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine on February 10th, she said.

Since receiving the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine in March, Emmanuelle Hoareau, 22, a government prosecutor, tested positive on May 6. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the situation by saying, “It doesn’t make sense.” She said that the government had neglected to provide enough vaccination knowledge to the public.

“They are not informing the public about the true situation,” she said. “It’s a huge problem; a lot of people are getting sick.”

Jacqueline Pillay, Hoareau’s mother, works as a nurse in a private clinic in Victoria, the capital. She suggests a new variant has emerged in Seychelles as a result of an explosion of foreigners in recent months. On March 25, the tourism-dependent nation opened its borders to most visitors without quarantine.

“People are really afraid right now,” Pillay, 58, said. “If you provide people with the correct facts, they will not speculate.”

Officials from the Department of Health recently appeared on tv to urge those who have already had the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine to return for the second. However, Pillay expressed her dissatisfaction with the public health commissioner’s failure to discuss whether the vaccines do not seem to be performing as effectively as they should.

Pillay said, “I believe a lot of people aren’t coming back.”

This report was first published in The New York Times.