Wits Rolls Out Second Covid Vaccine Trials In SA

South Africa's second round of vaccine trials for the coronavirus has begun. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also donated millions of dollars to American Company Novavax for vaccine trials in South Africa. This hopefully will lead to a faster production of the vaccine in South Africa. 

South Africa's second round of vaccine trials for Covid-19 have started at Wits University. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also donated million to Novavax, an American Company, for vaccine trials in South Africa.

The first round of trials began on 23 June for the the Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine Vida-Trial with Oxford University and the Jenner Institute and was said to have been processing well. The second trials will now be screening volunteers for the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine, which is produced by Novavax, a Biotech American company.

This second trial will have about 2900 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 64. The NVX-CoV2373 vaccine uses the genetic sequence of the virus that causes the coronavirus. 

Wits' Shabir Madhi headed the first trial and will be heading this one as well. He said:

The major motivation for Covid-19 vaccines being evaluated at an early stage in South Africa is to generate evidence in the African context on how well these vaccines work in settings such as our own

And that this "would enable informed decision-making when advocating for the adoption of this (NVX-CoV2373 vaccine candidate) or other Covid-19 vaccines in African countries, once they are shown to be safe and effective".

These trials will make way for South Africans to be one of the first to have access to the vaccines when they do become available.

This current vaccine has already undergone phase 1 studies, says Madhi. The phase 2 study will assist in knowing the safety of the vaccine, how the body responds to it and whether it can protect against the virus.

This vaccine trials will also deal with how the vaccine would work for those positive with HIV, which shows inclusivity and further efficiency. 

As of 18 August, South Africa recorded 592,144 total confirmed cases. The country has a death toll of 12,264 related to the virus but with 485,468 recoveries, South Africa boasts a rather impressive recovery rate of 82%.



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