One of the world's most vaccinated countries has seen a new rise in COVID-19 cases, forcing researchers to question whether this is a trend or anomaly.
Seychelles, a small island country in East Africa that has fully vaccinated the majority of its population, has taken steps to close schools and canceled sports activities for the next two weeks due to a recent surge of the virus.
According to Bloomberg, precautionary measures being taken in Seychelles include a ban on the intermingling of households and the early closure of bars, despite the fact that the country has vaccinated more than 60 percent of adults with both doses of Pfizer and Moderna.
Seychelles, which is a popular tourist destination in the Indian Ocean, was quick to fully vaccinate the majority of its near 100,000 residents, with 62.2 percent of its eligible population (18 and older) fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
It is estimated that 84 percent of the new cases were foreigners who traveled into the country, which saw the number of active cases rise from 612 in late April to 1,068 on Monday, May 3.
The next most vaccinated nation is Israel at 55.9 percent, while the United States is under 40 percent.
It remains unclear what has driven the surge of new cases in Seychelles, while other countries with a high vaccination rate have all seen the number of cases plummet in recent weeks following the holidays.
Little was discussed on the matter during a press conference on Tuesday, May 4 where Peggy Vidot, the nation’s health minister, addressed the measures being taken to slow down the spread of the virus.
“Despite all of the exceptional efforts we are making,” she said. “the COVID-19 situation in our country is critical right now, with many daily cases reported last week.”
In a blog post, Daniel Lucey, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine noted that of the new cases, approximately two-thirds were unvaccinated or had one dose, while the rest had completed the vaccination series.
“Given the widespread international use of these two vaccines, there are global implications to what is happening in Seychelles."
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