The discovery of a new and potentially more transmissible coronavirus variant by South African health authorities has sparked a strong response around the world, with a growing number of countries banning travelers from several South African countries.
The B.1.1.529 was labeled a “variant of concern” by the WHO. It appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of South Africa and scientists are concerned that the unusually high number of mutations could make it more transmissible and lead to immune evasion.
Here’s what we know about Covid-19 in South Africa:
South Africa, which has fully vaccinated 35.37% of the adult population, has seen a decline in the number of people starting vaccination in recent days, according to data from the country’s health ministry.
The statistic peaked in the week ending October 24, with 1,047,427 people receiving their first vaccination. Since then, this statistic has declined, with 613,033 people vaccinated in the week ending Nov. 21.
More than 40% of adults – more than 16 million people – have been vaccinated in South Africa. More than 5 million people have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine and additional doses have been administered as part of a booster dose trial. More than 19 million doses of Pfizer have been administered, nearly 11 million of which are first doses.
The country has administered a first dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to more than 400,000 children aged 12 to 18 years.