Africa

SA urged to keep COVID immune protection topped up to stave off future waves

Infectious diseases specialist, Doctor Richard Lessels, said that there was still a lot of uncertainty around the trajectory of the pandemic.

FILE: A woman receives a dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from a healthcare worker at the Zwartkops Raceway in Centurion on 13 August 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

CAPE TOWN – Scientists have stressed the importance of keeping the population’s immune protection topped up ahead of future COVID-19 waves.

This past Saturday marked two years since the country’s first coronavirus case was detected here.

The Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa, a collaboration between laboratories, scientists and academic institutions, is tasked with ensuring that the country stays on top of tracking coronavirus variants.

The impact of a fifth wave of COVID-19 largely depends on the nature of any future variants and how well the population is protected.

Infectious diseases specialist, Doctor Richard Lessels, said that there was still a lot of uncertainty around the trajectory of the pandemic.

“Sometime in the future we are going to see a resurgence of infections, we are likely to see a new variant of some form, and we will see another wave of infection,” he said.

Lessels said that one key issue was whether the population’s immunity level remained topped-up.

He emphasised that although the Omicron variant was unlikely to cause severe disease, the same could not be said for other variants.




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