Omicron coronavirus cases have surged by as much as 400% in some parts of South Africa – although the country’s health ministry has said there is mounting evidence the variant causes milder infection.
South Africa reported more than 22,000 new infections on Thursday, a record during the fourth wave but still below the more than 26,000 daily cases seen during the peak of the Delta variant.
Of those admitted to hospital, 70% were unvaccinated – however, it is worth noting South Africa has a relatively low rate of vaccination, with just over 25% of the population fully jabbed.
Glenda Gray, president of the South African Medical Research Council, said: “We are seeing this vaccine is maintaining effectiveness.
“It may be slightly reduced, but we are seeing effectiveness being maintained for hospital admissions and that is very encouraging.”