WHO Technical Advisory Team Warns That Omicron Reduces Vaccine Effectiveness…Calls For Development Of Stronger Vaccines

PRELIMINARY data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC) shows that the mutational profile of the Omicron strain reduces vaccine effectiveness in symptomatic patients. By Michael Gwarisa The technical advisory team also called for the urgent development of COVID-19 vaccines that have high impact on prevention of infection and transmission, in addition to the prevention of severe disease and death, are needed and should be developed so as to reduce the need for booster doses. Until such vaccines are available, and as the…

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New research explores role of travel in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Zimbabwe

Quadram Institute researchers working with scientists in Zimbabwe have built up a detailed picture of how SARS-CoV-2 variants were introduced and transmitted in the southern African country during 2020. Their findings, published in The Lancet Global Health, are based on the genomic sequencing of 156 positive samples taken across eight provinces (including metropolitan Bulawayo and Harare) in Zimbabwe between March and October 2020. The epidemiological analysis identified two distinct phases of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Zimbabwe. The first phase between March and June 2020 saw cases linked to international travel…

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#TalkingCOVIDWithDrGrant: Different Variants, Similar Control Strategies

Dr Grant Murewanhema

THE Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative virus for the disease better known as COVID-19. It belongs broadly to a class of viruses known as coronaviruses, and people are more familiar with the previous SARS and MARS outbreaks. None of these ever got to the scale of the current COVID-19 pandemic. By Dr Grant Murewanhema Viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, which spread rapidly, also multiply very rapidly in a process called replication, where copies of similar virions continue to be made. Now, as you will be familiar…

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Debunking The COVID-19 preventive Misconception As Zimbabwe And Africa Face A Resurgence Of Cases

Dr Grant Murewanhema

BY some stroke of luck, or as yet unexplained factor(s), Zimbabwe, and indeed most of Sub-Saharan Africa, have been spared from the full wrath of SARS-CoV-2, the causative coronavirus for COVID-19. For a virus that decimated populations in developed countries with advanced healthcare, the worst was expected for Africa. By Dr Grant Murewanhema Projections were that Africa was going to be grossly overwhelmed with cases; formal hospitals would be filled to capacity, including floors and passages, and there would be a need for makeshift hospitals. For a virus whose spread…

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