SA has reached a turning point in the coronavirus pandemic, as vaccination and high levels of natural immunity from prior infection are likely to protect most people from severe illness and death in future waves, just as they did during the recent Omicron-driven surge, say leading local researchers.

Three quarters of Gauteng’s population surveyed before SA’s fourth wave in December had coronavirus antibodies, which helps explain why an unprecedented surge in cases was not accompanied by a commensurate rise in hospitalisations and deaths, according to a peer-reviewed study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine...

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