South African to Kickoff Clinical Trials of Coronavirus Vaccine on Wednesday

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South African to Kickoff Clinical Trials of Coronavirus Vaccine on Wednesday
Nwolu Obiajulu

Clinical trials of a United Kingdom (UK) manufactured COVID-19 vaccine is set to take place in South Africa on Wednesday as the country tackles the spread of the dreaded disease.

SABC News reports that the University of Oxford manufactured vaccine would be tried among about 2,000 people aged 18-35 in South Africa. Half of the participants would be given the drug while the rest will be given a placebo.

It will commence with a set of HIV negative individuals who will be given two doses of the vaccine over four weeks duration.

Personnel from the Medical Research Council and Wits University would on Wednesday, administer the drug on a set 50 people.

South African has been taking planned actions to curtail the spread of COVID-19. It pioneered local capacity for laboratory testing in Africa and has testing the highest number of samples in the continent.

Daily spike in the spread of the virus, there has been justifiable concern on the availability of a vaccine to less advanced and indigent countries, especially in Africa.

The Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Helen Ress expressed the need for the vaccine to be made available to citizens of all nations when eventually found. However, she admits there may be need for prioritization in distribution at the early stage of discovery to countries that are worst affected.

“Obviously the richer countries and richer areas are trying to say ‘my country first and all of my citizens’ first. There is a very, very important global dialogue going on about vaccine access,” Rees told SABC News.

Last month, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that African countries should get “quick, equal and affordable” access to any vaccine and treatment of COVID-19 once it becomes available.

 

Source: CGTN Africa

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