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Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccination trials begin
AFRICA’S first human trial for a potential vaccine against the coronavirus has begun at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, Reuters reports.
The volunteers who received their first shot of the injections on Wednesday were said to be nervous.
“I feel a little bit scared but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others what is going on with the study,” one of the vaccine trial volunteers, Junior Mhlongo, said in Johannesburg.
The large-scale trial of the vaccine developed at the University of Oxford in Britain is being conducted in South Africa, Britain and Brazil.
South Africa has nearly one-third of Africa’s confirmed cases with more than 106,000, including more than 2,100 deaths. The country on Tuesday reported its biggest one-day death toll of 111.
The African continent now has nearly 325,000 cases as countries loosen restrictions under economic pressure from citizens who say they have to feed their families.
Shortages of testing materials and medical supplies remain a problem as Africa could become the world’s next hot spot.
The pandemic was delayed in Africa “but is picking up speed very quickly,” the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief John Nkengasong said Wednesday.
This is the second trial of the vaccine outside the United Kingdom after Brazil.
There are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for the illness caused by the new strain of coronavirus, but more than a dozen vaccines from more than 100 candidates globally are currently being tested on humans.