The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has announced that it will begin South Africa’s first clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinology professor Shabir Madhi announced the news in a YouTube video on 23 June.
Madhi is also the director of the South African Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit at Wits.
Wits is working with the University of Oxford to begin human trials in South Africa with the Ox1Cov-19 vaccine, to test its effectiveness.
“With our collaboration with scientists at Oxford University, we’ve been able to reach an agreement for them to provide us with a vaccine to see if that vaccine works within a South African population.
“This is important for multiple reasons because the past experience with other vaccines where one vaccine works in one country or one setting it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same would occur in another setting,” said Madhi.
“We have our own unique circumstances in the African context,” he continued.
The clinical trial at the University of Oxford has had 4,000 participants enrolled so far.
Wits have assured that the South African vaccine trial has undergone stringent reviews and has received approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of the Witwatersrand.
Watch the full interview below
Image: Screenshot from YouTube video