The World Health Organisation has disclosed that plans are underway to come up with a possible treatment for coronavirus as no fewer than 19 potential COVID-19 vaccines are currently in clinical trials.
It said that the 19 potential vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials were few selected from nearly 150 COVID-19 vaccines received from scientists across the globe working towards finding a lasting treatment protocol for the viral infection.
WHO, through a post on its social media page, revealed that the vaccines are undergoing trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil with thousands of participants and volunteers.
“South Africa is the first country on the continent to start a clinical trial with the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg testing a vaccine developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute in the United Kingdom. The South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial is expected to involve 2000 volunteers aged 18 to 65 years and include some people living with HIV.
“The vaccine is already undergoing trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil with thousands of participants. According to the African Academy of Sciences, only two percent of clinical trials conducted worldwide occur in Africa,” it said.
The UN health agency said it was important to test the COVID-19 vaccine in countries where it was needed to ensure that it would be effective.
“With more than 215, 000 cases, South Africa accounts for 43 percent of the continent’s total cases. Clinical trials must be performed according to international and national scientific and ethical standards, which include informed consent for any participant.
“I encourage more countries in the region to join these trials so that the contexts and immune response of populations in Africa are factored into studies. Africa has the scientific expertise to contribute widely to the search for an effective COVID-19 vaccine,’’ it said.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said, “Indeed, our researchers have helped develop vaccines.
“The vaccines have provided protection against communicable diseases such as meningitis, Ebola, yellow fever, and a number of other common health threats in the region.’
Globally, there are 19 potential #COVID19 vaccines currently in clinical trials. South Africa is the first African country to start a clinical trial, with @WitsUniversity testing a vaccine developed by Oxford Jenner Institute. Trials for the vaccine are ongoing in UK & Brazil. pic.twitter.com/Euv5KDZxUn
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) July 9, 2020