World’s most vaccinated country is witnessing Covid-19 surge worse than India. What does it mean?
- Seychelles began vaccinating its population against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) using a donation of China's Sinopharma vaccines from the United Arab Emirates.
Seychelles, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, announced the reopening of borders for tourists in March to revive its economy which is heavily reliant on the tourism industry. The archipelago kicked off an aggressive vaccination drive to inoculate its population of nearly 100,000 and soon became the world’s most vaccinated country.
Seychelles began vaccinating its population against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) using a donation of China's Sinopharm vaccines from the United Arab Emirates. Later, the island nation used the Covishield vaccines, a version of AstraZeneca’s shot manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
As per the latest data, more than 60 per cent of Seychelles’ population has been fully vaccinated and around 70 per cent has been administered at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The percentage of the fully vaccinated population is more than other vaccine giants like Israel and the United Kingdom.
In spite of these impressive vaccination figures, Seychelles this week reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases per capita, worse than a country like India which has not even 3 per cent of its population fully vaccinated. According to Our World in Data, the latest rolling 7-day average for daily new Covid-19 cases per capita in Seychelles is more than twice India’s.
Seychelles has reported nearly 7,000 Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic but it’s a big deal for a country with a population of less than 100,000. Earlier this week, the archipelago announced new measures, including shutting down schools and cancelling sporting activities, for two weeks to curb the infection. Peggy Vidot, Seychelles’ health minister, told a press conference that the Covid-19 situation in the country is critical right now despite all the “exceptional efforts”.
Experts have been watching the situation in Seychelles closely for what it says about the effectiveness of vaccines. According to a Washington Post report, the surge in new cases may confirm that the Covid-19 vaccines being used in the country “have comparatively low effectiveness.” Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the Post that the situation in Seychelles is making a critical case to “consider the effectiveness of some vaccines and what range we have to reach to meet herd immunity.”