Governments and vaccine producers are grappling with a new development in the pandemic more research shows there are thousands of variants of the virus around the world.
It is emerging after new variants were identified in South Africa, then surfaced in UK and a few other countries. Millions of people in major economies have already been vaccinated with jabs from different companies.
The UK government has now revealed that vaccine makers are working on improving the vaccines so that they can be able to tackle the thousands of variants.
“Its very unlikley that the current vaccine won’t be effective on the variants whether in Kent or other variants especially when it comes to severe illness and hospitalization,” Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News on Thursday.
“All manufacturers, Pfizer-Biontech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and others are looking at how they can improve their vaccine to make sure that we are ready for any variant – there are about 4,000 variants around the world of COVID now.”
Rwanda is scheduled to get 996,000 free doses from the global COVAX facility. At least 102, 960 doses will be by Pfizer-Biontech.
Last week, the UK banned travellers from Rwanda, just like it has done with many countries, except the US which has biggest global infection rate.
We reported of the fact that Rwanda has yet to acquire genome sequencing technology that identifies the new COVID-19 variants in UK. Though both sides have not given details, but is very clear that was reason for UK action.
Rwanda is said to be in talks with its development partners to get the needed technology.
Going by the UK minister’s revelation, it suggests the variant in Rwanda may be different from one in Kenya or DR Congo.
Question the government will be dealing with is, will the vaccines it is expecting, protect Rwandans against all the 4,000 variants.