In a major milestone for the country, the continent and the global fight against the pandemic the first participants from across Africa will be vaccinated this week in a South African A trial as the world searches for a prevention against acquiring Covid-19.
Called The South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial, it has enrolled 1,950 adult volunteers, ages 18 to 65, all of whom are HIV negative.
Additionally, 50 HIV-positive volunteers have enrolled.
All are intended to remain on the trial for a year.
Researchers at sites in Gauteng will begin testing the Covid-19 vaccine in human volunteers on Wednesday, and the study may be extended to sites in Cape Town over the next few weeks.
In addition to the SA cohort, 5,000 Brazilians are enrolled, and in earlier phases of the trial, after the vaccine was developed at the Oxford Jenner Institute, 4,000 Britons were enrolled and plans for an additional 10,000 participants are under way.
An even larger study (of the same vaccine) is planned for the US where up to 30,000 will be enrolled.
“The objective of the trial is to investigate if the vaccine will protect against Covid-19, doesn’t cause unacceptable side effects, and if it induces satisfactory immune responses,” according to Wits University.