Soweto, South Africa – Prince William of Great Britain went to Oxford University on Wednesday to meet with patients participating in a human trial ofvaccine. But with cases of COVID-19 plummeting in England, the researchers fear the 10,000-person trial may not yield conclusive enough results to show that the vaccine works.
They needed to test the drug in a place where more people are exposed to the deadly virus. So, as the trial continues in England, researchers in South Africa and Brazil, where many more people get the coronavirus on a daily basis, have launched parallel human trials with the same candidate vaccine.
The Oxford formula is one of approximately 120 potential vaccines that teams across the globe are working on. Based on drugs they have, the Oxford team vaccine has moved . There has already been a huge investment, even from the US. To ensure that millions of doses are available as soon as it is proven to be safe and effective.
Another even larger human trial of the possible vaccine will be conducted in the United States. Oxford pharmaceutical partner AstraZeneca plans to enroll 30,000 people, starting this month, in that trial after receiving. The goal is to make about 300 million doses of the vaccine available in the United States. USA Before the end of the year, if it works.
For months, the Oxford candidate vaccine, technically known as “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19”, has been considered one of the world’s best hopes for a lasting solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CBS News met with some of the people who volunteered to administer the Oxford team’s test vaccine at a humble clinic in Soweto, just outside Johannesburg in South Africa.
The first South African volunteers in the Oxford trial patiently waited in the winter sun on Wednesday to receive the experimental vaccine. For the most part, they said they were excited to be part of the story.
Khensani Nkuna, 27, said she volunteered, “because it could save lives.”
Despite a recent blockade, and teams of contact trackers working to locate infected patients in South Africa, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country.
Renowned vaccinologist Professor Shabir Madhi, who is leading the trial of 2,000 volunteers, says South Africa is likely still eight weeks away from seeing the peak of infections.
“Therefore, our ability to determine whether or not this vaccine protects against COVID-19 will likely be much greater than is currently the case in the UK,” he said, adding that his team looks forward to seeing the results of the trial. before At the end of this year.
The trial in Brazil, which is fighting one of the world’s most aggressive COIVD-19 epidemics right now, largely reflects the South African experiment, and 2,000 volunteers are expected to receive the candidate vaccine.
Officials from the Federal University of Sao Paulo told the AFP news agency on Wednesday that they had begun administering the drug to volunteers, targeting front-line health workers to increase the likelihood of exposure to the coronavirus.
The results of all the trials, in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil and the United States, cannot come soon enough. If the experimental vaccine is shown to be effective, the Oxford team has already coordinated with manufacturers in several countries to have around 2 billion doses available by early next year.