covid africa
The meek have not inherited the coronavirus.

Half of African countries have Covid death rates lower than 1 in 10,000 people - less than one-twentieth the American rate.

These low death rates are NOT because the coronavirus has missed Africa somehow. Antibody testing across the continent shows very high rates of Covid infection and recovery.

Malawi, population 20 million, has had fewer than 2,600 Covid deaths. Yet as NPR reported last week in a piece called "Africa may have reached the pandemic's holy grail," up to 80 percent of people in Malawi had Covid antibodies by last summer.

Much of this advantage is due to demographics. The average Malawian just turned 18 and is thus at little risk. Still, African countries collectively have about 150 million people over 50. About one-third of those are over 65.

To care for this population, Africa has only a relative handful of hospitals that meet Western standards - a gap that led to predictions of disaster.

In March 2020, the British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson and Imperial College London said Covid would hit poor countries much harder than rich ones, because their health-care systems would likely be overwhelmed. Ferguson predicted poor countries might face up to 40 million deaths by the end of 2020.

From the BBC, March 26, 2020:

covid poor prediction

This prediction has proven as accurate as all the others from Ferguson and Imperial College.

The entire African continent, with 1.3 billion people , has had 240,000 Covid deaths since the epidemic began - fewer deaths than from traffic accidents in Africa every year.

(SIDE NOTE: Just over a month ago, Ferguson predicted as many as 5,000 Britons a day might die of the Omicron variant. As the Daily Mail reported, "Imperial found 'no evidence' the variant was less severe than Delta, dismissing real-world evidence."

That forecast so far has been high by a factor of about 20, or one standard FUPF - "Ferguson Unit of Prediction Failure." The man never tires of publicly embarrassing himself, gotta give him that.)

What is saving Africa from the Covid ravages Ferguson predicted two years ago?

The mRNA vaccines, of course.


As of mid-December, only about about 7 percent of all Africans were Covid vaccinated. Non-mRNA Indian and Chinese vaccines accounted for part of that total.

And Omicron - running rampant across heavily vaccinated countries worldwide - has barely touched Africa.

The exception is South Africa, which had an Omicron wave in December that was large by African but not Western standards. As it happens, South Africa is highly vaccinated by African but not Western standards.

Total coincidence, no doubt.

In the absence of the miracle of mRNA, Africans seem to be protected by - wait for it! - their own immune systems. Natural immunity built up over previous waves that spread widely and without much notice, Kondwani Jambo, an immunologist in Malawi, told NPR.

"Jambo says their apparent resistance to severe disease was likely built up as a result of all the prior exposure to earlier variants." NPR went on:

omicron africa


Further, Africa's relatively undeveloped health-care system may actually be an advantage when it comes to Covid. As Italian physicians warned in the New England Journal of Medicine just as the epidemic was starting in March 2020, hospitals themselves can help drive Covid transmission to the most vulnerable people:
We are learning that hospitals might be the main Covid-19 carriers, as they are rapidly populated by infected patients, facilitating transmission to uninfected patients...

Coronavirus is the Ebola of the rich... It is not particularly lethal, but it is very contagious. The more medicalized and centralized the society, the more widespread the virus.

Yet the clear evidence that Africa has avoided and will continue to avoid any crisis from Covid has made no difference to vaccine fanatics.

They are desperately pushing for the United States and other rich countries to spend tens of billions of dollars to force mRNA vaccines on African countries - whether those countries want them or not.

This policy would be absurd even if the vaccines worked - as the British science magazine UnHerd pointed out last week. In an article titled "The Left-wing case against vaccine mandates," Thomas Fazi and Toby Green argued that forcing African countries to vaccinate against Covid will damage trust in public health and distract them from diseases far more dangerous to their citizens, such as malaria and HIV:
We don't think there is anything progressive about the current move towards compelled — and in places mandatory — Covid vaccinations. These are discriminatory against minority communities... [and] enormously costly, not only in economic terms, creating huge profits for the pharmaceutical companies rolling them out... but also in human resources terms — with thousands of health workers being pulled out of (already understaffed, in many cases) hospitals to run mass vaccination centres.

The authors argued that rich donors are trying to force young Africans at no risk from Covid to take vaccines in the dubious hope of protecting (mostly) white elderly people in North America and Europe:

The Western liberal's comforting canard, that "No one's safe until everyone's safe", is shown really to mean that "Until I feel safe, I will continue to destroy the livelihoods and health outcomes of poor countries."

This ugly game, of course, is the international version of the media and public health effort to frighten or force American parents into giving their kids Covid shots - and it too must stop, the sooner the better.