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Despite its standing as the world's most vaccinated country, the 115-island archipelago Seychelles is seeing a dramatic resurgence in COVID-19 transmission, bringing its daily case rate to "a higher number of infections per capita than India," The Wall Street Journal reports.
To date, approximately 67 percent of Seychelles' population is vaccinated — the majority of those citizens received Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, while the remainder received Covishield, a derivative of AstraZeneca's shot manufactured in India. But according to the island nation's health ministry, "more than one third of new active cases are people who are fully vaccinated." Authorities have not yet disclosed how many of the new cases are among Sinopharm recipients, but "the situation is being watched all over the world for what it says about the effectiveness of vaccines," writes the Journal.
On Friday, the World Health Organization cleared the Sinopharm shot for emergency, global use, despite little data on its efficacy in patients over 60. According to the Journal, the authorization is expected to help "alleviate a severe shortage of doses in the developing world, as vaccine exports from COVID-19-struck India grind to a halt."
To help curb the spread of infections, the Seychelles government recently instituted new preventative measures, such as early bar closures and bans on household intermingling.
The good news, however, is most of Seychelle's cases appear to be mild, said Kate O' Brien, director of immunizations, vaccines and biologicals at the World Health Organization. "The Sinopharm vaccine really requires two doses," she added, "and some of the cases that are being reported are occurring either soon after a single dose, or soon after a second dose."
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