Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Africa Watch by email every week.
COVID-19 vaccination campaigns across Africa suffered a potentially serious blow after new research showed that a vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca offered only minimal protection against mild and moderate infections caused by the more contagious coronavirus variant that was first detected in South Africa. The new strain has fueled a second wave of infections in the country and has been detected in at least 30 other nations, including six in Africa.
South Africa, the hardest-hit country on the continent with nearly 1.5 million COVID-19 infections, was forced to pause a campaign to inoculate its health workers using the AstraZeneca vaccine this week, as it scrambles to source more effective ones. Now, global and regional health officials have diverged in their recommendations for other African countries where the new coronavirus variant is circulating.