South Africa rolls out the continent’s first coronavirus vaccine trial this week, the university leading the pilot said Tuesday, as the country grapples with the highest number of cases in Africa.
The vaccine, developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute, is already being evaluated in the United Kingdom, where 4,000 participants have signed up for the trial.
South Africa has set out to vaccinate 2,000 people with the vaccine known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Fifty of the candidates have HIV.
“We began screening participants for the South African Oxford 1 Covid-19 vaccine trial last week, and the first participants will be vaccinated this week,” said the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) vaccinology professor Shabir Madhi at a virtual press conference. Brazil is planning its own pilot, while the United States is preparing to test another vaccine in a mass trial of up to 30,000 participants.
Wits is collaborating with the University of Oxford and the Oxford Jenner Institute on the South African trial.
South Africa’s coronavirus cases jumped to over 100,000 on Monday, while the number of deaths inched towards 2,000.
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