Home News Race is on to find Covid-19 vaccine

Race is on to find Covid-19 vaccine

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More than 25 million cases of Covid-19 have been detected globally, and several countries are racing to find a vaccine.

A lab technician extracts a portion of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate during testing at the Chula Vaccine Research Center, run by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture: Sakchai Lalit AP

Cape Town – More than 25 million cases of Covid-19 have been detected globally, and several countries are racing to find a vaccine.

Across the globe, anti-vaccine sentiment has also been prevalent. Vaccine hesitancy (anti-vaccination) is the refusal to get vaccinated against contagious diseases despite the availability and accessibility of a vaccine.

South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) chief executive and president, Professor Glenda Gray, said vaccine hesitancy had not been a problem in South Africa as the public had largely understood the benefits of vaccination and the role it played in reducing morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases in children.

She said vaccine hesitancy stemmed from the public not understanding the benefits of a vaccination programme.

“I am not sure why anyone would not see the public health benefits of a Covid-19 vaccine. It is the most powerful tool to get back to normal, to prevent the devastation of this disease and to prevent deaths from SARS-CoV-2,” she said.

Professor Linda-Gail Bekker from the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at UCT said that although vaccine hesitancy was a movement across the world, in Africa, vaccines and especially childhood vaccines were generally embraced and highly thought of.

The death toll in the Northern Cape from Covid-19 has jumped to 129 after nine additional deaths were announced by the Minister of Health on Monday evening.

Seven of the deaths are from the Sol Plaatje municipal area and two are from Dawid Kruiper.

The province has also surpassed the 10 000 mark with a cumulative total of 10 726 people in the Northern Cape having tested positive for Covid-19.

Cape Argus