Kenya to roll out COVID-19 vaccine trials in weeks

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Kenya’s top medical research body will begin trials for a COVID-19 vaccine in a few weeks as the East African country continues its fight against the virus.

Kombe Yeri, the Director-General of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), said on Saturday the institution was only waiting for the necessary regulatory approvals before rolling out the trials.

“We were conducting several preparations ahead of the trials,” local website quotes Yeri. “First, it was important for us to get all valid licences from relevant authorities. The Kemri team must also ensure that the vaccine is of the required standards and is not harmful to humans.”

The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine trials will be conducted on 40 people.

Other countries that have already rolled out human trials for the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine include the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, with about 8,000 volunteers drafted.

The vaccine, developed by Oxford University, is made from the ChAdOx1 virus, a weakened version of a common cold virus (called adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees, genetically modified so that it is impossible for it to replicate in humans.