World Health Organization officials met earlier Thursday to discuss a new variant of coronavirus that is circulating in South Africa and Botswana, the body’s Africa director said.
The new variant B .1.1.529 has a high number of mutations, Matshidiso Moeti said in an online briefing Thursday. She spoke after the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they would meet South African officials next week to discuss a new variant in the country.
The variant’s discovery shows the need to vaccinations against Covid-19 on the continent, Moeti said.
Recent studies showed low vaccination rates among health workers in 25 African countries, partly due to lack of vaccinations and reluctance, she said. Concerns about vaccine safety and undesirable side effects have been identified as the main reasons behind vaccination refusals, she said.
– More stories like this are available on Bloomberg.com