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South Africa proceeding to third COVID vaccine trial

The trial is expected to enroll 60,000 adult volunteers with a randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled test. It will be a large-scale series of vaccination which will include those above 60 years of age with a history of prevailing health conditions as such those infected with HIV with stable medication.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Johannesburg | Updated: 10-11-2020 12:17 IST | Created: 10-11-2020 12:16 IST
South Africa proceeding to third COVID vaccine trial
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

American multinational corporation Johnson & Johnson is expected to conduct Phase 3 ENSEMBLE trial with Janssen Pharmaceutica, according to a report by Famagusta Gazette.

The trial is expected to enroll 60,000 adult volunteers with a randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled test. It will be a large-scale series of vaccination which will include those above 60 years of age with a history of prevailing health conditions as such those infected with HIV with stable medication.

Tian Johnson, the head of the advocacy group of African Alliance and founding member of the Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group, said that the trial is another crucial step in ensuring a future vaccine for South Africa.

"Today, South African scientists' leading role in COVID-19 vaccine research takes us a step closer in ensuring that history doesn't repeat itself in this pandemic. Historically, Africa has had to wait too long to get medicines and vaccines that the Global North long took for granted for many reasons — including a lack of local data from Africa," Johnson added. Johnson also pointed out that the company wants to ensure the role of civil society and community involvement in vaccine research, development, and accessibility.

"The world desperately needs effective vaccines and medicines to treat COVID-19 and the quest to develop these has pushed science to find new and faster ways of finding them. But in the rush to find effective solutions to COVID-19, we cannot afford to leave communities behind, and their involvement cannot be an afterthought for researchers," Johnson said.

With the trial, South Africa has been listed as one of the major countries conducting vaccine tests including the United States, Argentina, and Mexico.


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