Officially, the health authorities have not yet admitted it. But the Center for Research on Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases (Cremer) maintains that “the VOC.2 of SARS Co-V-2, known as the South African variant of Covid-19, has been circulating in Cameroon at least since January 15 2021 ”.
The head of Cremer, Eitel Mpoudi Ngolè, in a memo dated March 5, specifies that “twenty-two samples from Cameroon collected between March and December 2020, sequenced and deposited in the Gisaid platform, did not contain any known VOCs nowadays “.
But, he continues, “these old and new results show an evolution in the circulation of variants and the presence of the South African variant from January 2021 in Cameroon”. He underlines that certain vaccines would be less effective against this variant and recommends “a reinforcement of the surveillance of the variants of SARS-Co-V-2 in Cameroon in order to guide the vaccine strategies”.
“Cremer, with the support of its partners from the IRD / Inserm / University of Montpellier research unit (TransVIHMI) contributes to the characterization of strains of the SARS-Co-V-2 virus, the causative agent of Covid-19 circulating in Cameroon ”, indicates Eitel Mpoudi Ngolè.
If this revelation from Cremer is confirmed, it would be a blow to Cameroon. Indeed, according to the Minister of Public Health, Manaouda Malachie, the country will receive the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in ten days, for a total of 1.76 million doses as part of the Covax facility. ‘here May.
However, the results of a South African study published in early February establish that some vaccines may have reduced efficacy against mild to moderate infection caused by the new variant of SARS-CoV-2.
The African Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (Africa CDC) recommend the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in countries that have not reported circulation of SARS-CoV-2.