Immune compromised targeted for vaccination, says Africa CDC 

The continent of 1.3 billion people has only fully vaccinated 10% of its population against Covid-19.
A technician uses a multi-channel pipette dropper to dispense material during Covid-19 antibody neutralisation testing in a laboratory at the African Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban. Image: Bloomberg

Africa has to focus on getting Covid-19 shots into people’s arms, especially those who are immunosuppressed, if it is to avoid the long-term spread of the disease, according to John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The continent of 1.3 billion people, which has only fully vaccinated 10% of its population against Covid, must reach at least 70% by the end of this year if Africa is to avoid this situation, he said.
“My fear is that we may actually be heading in that direction, given the slow pace at which vaccines are being administered on the continent,” Nkengasong said in a briefing Thursday.

Reaching a 70% immunisation target by the end of the year is “a tall order given where we are, but we have to do that.”

Scientists have posited that both the Omicron and Beta Covid-19 variants may have developed in immune compromised individuals, whose weak immune systems can harbor the coronavirus for months, allowing it to mutate into a version that transmitted more effectively and evaded vaccines. Both those variants spread globally.

HIV Burden

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to about 70% of the total number of people globally infected with HIV, which causes the immune disease AIDS.

A study of an HIV positive 36-year-old woman in South Africa showed that the  Covid-19 virus stayed in her body for 216 days and mutated rapidly.

South Africa alone has 8.2 million people infected with HIV, according to the national statistics agency.

“Variants will emerge if the virus continues to circulate,” Nkengasong said. “We have to vaccinate at speed and at scale, especially the immuno-suppressed population on the continent.”

Read:
Inside SA virology labs
World’s worst HIV epidemic stymies South Africa’s Covid fight

African countries also need to make sure that people that are receiving antiretrovirals for HIV get that treatment in a timely manner so that their HIV viral load is suppressed and their immune system is ready to fight Covid-19, he said.

Rising vaccination rates will also allow Africa to avoid severe lockdowns, which have created “tremendous harm” to economies, Nkengasong said.

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I note the heading at the top says “Own your life” and luckily our constitution recognizes that each person has the final sal over what happens to their body: Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right—
(b) to security in and control over their body; and
(c) not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent. To me it does not seem as if John Nkengasong has any insight that such a right also exists for every immono-suppressed person. No use setting these targets if you already know people are not keen to give permission to this experiment. And by the way it is not a vaccination, it is a jab and this article is not an article it is propaganda.

End of comments.

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