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CNN’s Gupta credits COVID-19 measures, not vaccines for plunge in South African variant cases

Mary Rose Corkery, DCNF

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta said Thursday that the decline in South Africa’s COVID-19 variant cases is not from vaccines, but virus measures.

Gupta told CNN host John King that South Africa’s cases have plunged after the country experienced a massive surge in January 2021, despite less than 1% of the country being vaccinated.

“That steep decline is not because of vaccines, that is another reminder, even with one of these concerning variants, that basic public health measures work,” Gupta said. “So we want the vaccine, we want science to rescue us, but South Africa should remind us of what is possible even without those vaccines.”


Johnson & Johnson announced in January that their vaccine is only 57% effective against the South African COVID-19 variant. The company also said their vaccine is 72% effective against COVID-19.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the Biden administration wants an oversupply of vaccines to prepare for COVID-19 variants like the South African strain.

South Africa has reported 1,524,174 confirmed coronavirus cases and 51,015 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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