Health authorities in Gabon have begun mulling over the possibility of giving already vaccinated persons a third dose of the vaccines as the number of positive cases and deaths increase.
Senior officials in the Gabonese Ministry of Health are of the opinion that “a third dose would provide more protection against the serious forms of the virus suspected to already be in circulation in the country.”
Officials in the National Committee for the Fight Against COVID-19 (COPIL), however, said “the question of a third vaccine dose is not yet in the order of the day” though the appearance of the Delta variant which reduces the efficacy of the vaccines is taken very seriously by the health authorities.
During a recent working session, Guy-Patrick Obiang Ndong, the Minister of Health, reminded the various actors in the fight against the pandemic of the “necessity to mobilise and redouble vigilance in order to face all eventualities of a third wave in our country.”
He indicated that in case of a new hike in the number of positive cases, the health authorities would not hesitate to launch a new (third) campaign of vaccination for persons at risk.
Spike in positive cases
After a considerable drop in the number of COVID-19 infections in Gabon in the last few months, the number of patients admitted into hospitals has been increasing within the past few days.
In the last 24 hours, the number of persons officially identified as patients and put on treatment has risen from 97 to 100.
Within the same period, one patient died bringing deaths to 166, the total number of deaths in the country since the advent of the pandemic in March 2020.
The spike in the number of infections has been recorded particularly in the Estuaire province.
According to the National Committee, 69 new positive cases were recorded following tests on 6,277 persons within the last five days taking the positivity rate in the country to 1 per cent.
The number of persons hospitalised with COVID-19 throughout the country has risen to 28, with 11 admitted into reanimation with respiratory distress.
“There is the fear here that the third wave of the pandemic which was expected by the end of August or early September is already here,” a senior health official told HumAngle in Libreville, the capital.
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