South African University clinicians volunteer for COVID-19 vaccine trial

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Six senior clinicians at the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, have volunteer to participate in South Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccine trial.

The Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial aims to find a vaccine that will prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of the Witwatersrand, Martin Veller said It is very appropriate that healthcare professionals and people who are involved in the research of the environment if they can also get involved.

 “These are unprecedented times. Coronavirus is going to affect everybody in the world. We need a vaccine and the more people get involved in finding a suitable vaccine the better,” he added.

According to Aslam Dasoo, Doctor and member of the Progressive Health Forum there has been some concern, among the public, but there is nothing to be afraid of.

“There is the benefit that if the vaccine works and if I get the vaccine shot, if it is not the placebo, i will be protected. There are a number of reasons, but mostly demonstrate that this is something that should be supported and encouraged and that no one be afraid of it,” Dasoo said.

“We have to wait for cases of COVID-19 to develop amongst the volunteers, and unfortunately this is not because we are infecting people, but rather that is the nature of the virus that people are being exposed and becoming infected,” said Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at University of the Witwatersrand.

Currently there the only clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa, is taking place in South Africa.

However, the African Union and the World Health Organization and some other agencies are hoping that the number of clinical trials will increase across the continent.

Hauwa Mustapha

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