Kenya’s COVID-19 vaccine trials to target healthcare workers

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Kenya’s human trials of the potential COVID-19 vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, will target 400 volunteer healthcare workers if approved.

According to local website, the vaccine trial has already been greenlighted by the country’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board but the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (Nacosti) is still expected to give the final approval before it can be rolled out.

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.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) said the East African country’s participation in the vaccine trials was important in establishing its efficacy on Kenyans. It reiterated that a vaccine which works in one population may not necessarily work in all populations.

“Therefore it is important to find out whether the trial vaccine works among Kenyan populations to ensure that Kenyans can benefit from the vaccine if it proves to be successful,” quotes Kemri.

Kenya is one of only nine countries in Africa that have reported more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases.

By Wednesday, the country had registered 37,348 infections and 664 deaths.