1,207 people screened as South Africa launches its own Coronavirus vaccine efficacy in Cape Town

FILE PHOTO: Test tube with Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration taken on January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

South Africa's COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trial has been rolled out in the Western Cape.

The first eight candidates in the province were enrolled in the randomised control trial at the University of Cape Town's (UCT) Lung Institute on Thursday.

The COVID-19 vaccine study, a collaboration between Wits and the UK's Oxford University, was announced last month.

Potential candidates for the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine trial are being screened inside a white marquee tent adjacent to the UCT Lung Institute building.

The international study, that's also underway at sites in Gauteng, aims to enroll at least 2,000 participants.

Professor Keertan Dheda, head of the Pulmonology Division at Groote Schuur Hospital, explained the importance of having the vaccine efficacy study done locally.

“It’s good that we are doing the trial in South Africa because not everyone responds to vaccines in the same way, the genetic background of a population is different. It would be good to confirm if it works in this setting as well as other settings.”

Dheda said findings were expected in a year's time.

“That will give us some idea of how well the vaccine might be working. We will know several months before that, but that will give us a good idea whether the vaccine is likely to work or not.”

One-thousand-two-hundred-and-seven people have been screened to participate in the trial, and so far 713 have been enrolled.


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