COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Africa in the first quarter of 2021
CAPE TOWN - A COVID-19 vaccine could become available during the first quarter of next year.
Wits University's principal investigator of the South African VIDA vaccine trial, Professor Shabir Madhi, said the availability of a vaccine was completely dependent on the clinical trial results.
The same vaccine candidate is being tested in the United Kingdom and Brazil, with a similar trial planned for the United States.
In South Africa, 2,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65 are being enrolled for the trial, which will run at multiple sites in the country.
Madhi was part of a panel of experts addressing a World Health Organization media briefing themed COVID-19 and vaccine development in Africa.
“With regard to the timelines, I think it is possible to have a COVID-19 vaccine that we’re working on as early as the first quarter of next year.”
Madhi said there was still a long path ahead and in the meantime, the focus should remain on trying to slow the rate of transmission of the virus.
“By adherence to interventions, wearing of face masks, physical distancing, avoiding overcrowded spaces. That is the current and immediate terms of focus, it’s not about the vaccine. The vaccine needs to take place, but we need to manage what is upon us right now and that is the surging cases we are seeing across the African continent.”
More than 11,900 people on the continent have died of COVID-19 and over 520,000 COVID-19 cases recorded.
This article first appeared on EWN : COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Africa in the first quarter of 2021
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