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New COVID-19 variant discovered, public urged to vaccinate


SOUTH African Medical Association (SAMA) says a new COVID-19 variant has been discovered, EG. 5 last week Thursday.  

This variant is said to be the most transmissible than any of the previous variants and dangerous to those who did not vaccinate and those over the age of 65.  

SAMA Chairperson Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa recommends wearing masks and social distancing going forward. 

“Government should be encouraging citizens to vaccinate especially those that are at higher risk, prevent infection and there should be a continuous public message on education on how to avoid infections.” 

US cases increase

Meanwhile, a new COVID-19 vaccine is due out next month in the United States but health experts and analysts say it is likely to be coolly received even as hospitalisations from “Eris”, a variant of the Omicron form of the coronavirus, rise around the country.

Some public health experts hope that Americans will welcome the new shot as they would a flu jab. But demand for the vaccine has dropped sharply since 2021 when it first became available and more than 240 million people in the US, or 73% of the population, received at least one shot.

In the fall of 2022, by which time most people had either had the COVID-19 virus or the vaccine, fewer than 50 million people got the shots.

Healthcare providers and pharmacies such as CVS Health will start next month to offer the shot, updated to fight the Omicron version of the virus that has been dominant since last year.