The coronavirus has killed six fully vaccinated people in the Seychelles, which is suffering heightened Covid-19 infections despite inoculating a
greater proportion of its people than any other nation.
Of those, five had taken Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca Plc vaccine made in India, and one had been given Sinopharm, Jude Gedeon, the island
nation’s public health commissioner said at a press conference on Thursday. Covishield has mainly been reserved for people over 60 in the
Seychelles. All of those who died had serious underlying conditions, he said.
First off, Seychelles is an island nation
off the Eastern coast of Africa.
The population of the island is around 98,000 people. I also found it interesting that Seychelles has the highest GDP/capita of an African nation, and
by many measures, it is a prosperous, albeit tiny, country.
As for their most recent virus wave, reportedly it began in May of this year. The rise in cases since that time has been attributed to the arrival of
the Delta/Indian COVID strain.
A few thing popped into my head from reading this, beyond the obvious deduction that vaccines are not an impenetrable force field against the virus,
as some seem to believe that's how they work.
This is an interesting case study as it pertains to the notion of "herd immunity" and the idea that, once a population achieves a threshold of the
population vaccinated, that transmission of the virus should drop significantly. Simply put, this has not proven true here.
NOW, bold letters, a few disclaimers
. Thisi IS
a tropical island nation, with a large portion of its economy based on tourism. It could
easily be the case that tourists brought COVID with them to the island, unless some of the full-time residents happened to travel and bring it back
home. Contact tracing should help clarify which of these turn out to be the more likely explanation. However, despite the likelihood that the virus
was brought by travelers, the fact that such a large % of the residents being vaccinated SHOULD have prevented a surge in cases, if one subscribes to
the idea that vaccinated individuals comprise a chunk of the population that shouldn't contribute to spreading COVID. Contact tracing ought to shed
light on that as well.
Also, as many of us have said from the beginning, with a virus that demonstrates a propensity for rapid mutation, like influenza, vaccines were
never going to completely shut this pathogen down
. The Delta variant seems to have driven this point home.
As far as the lethality of the Delta variant with respect to vaccinated vs un-vaccinated, it would be an interesting case study in this country. There
is, in my view, insufficient data mentioned in the piece to draw a conclusion one way or another. Perhaps the health officials in the Seychelles
haven't worked that out themselves at this stage of the game.
The article did mention a breakdown of the fatalities, in terms of who was vaccianted with what. 5 of the deaths occurred with AstraZeneca Plc, and 1
death occurred with the Sinopharm vaccine. To me, this seems way too small of a body of numbers to draw any conclusions about performance of either
I will say I chuckled with the caveat "All of those who died had serious underlying conditions" thrown in, almost as an aside. We went through the
majority of 2020 with controversy of who was counted as a "COVID death" and how various comorbidities and circumstances (e.g. accidents) impacted the
casualty figures. It seems now that we are still bumping into this, however, the narrative seems to have shifted from underscoring the lethality of
COVID by including questionable deaths, to protecting the reputation of the vaccine by chipping away at deadly breakthrough cases by adding in the
"underlying conditions" disclaimer. In a better world, early on in the pandemic, stringent and hard and fast rules about how and whether or not to
count a fatality as a "COVID death" would've been established, widely adopted and would still be around to help with evaluating breakthrough cases.
This seems to have never been done, and has contributed to widespread mistrust and skepticism about "official" death tolls, either with or without the
From the article, I gather that all of the data analysis, demographic research and contact tracing is in its early stages. It will be fascinating to
revisit this if/when there is more information contributed by the health officials in Seychelles to fill in some of the gaps about where the virus
originated from in the May case surge, and most importantly the main spread vectors (inhabitants or tourists) in this instance.
2-7-2021 by SleeperHasAwakened because: (no reason given)