In order to assure vaccine availability for the African continent once the COVID-19 vaccine is developed, the African Union Commission has launched a consortium for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.
The aim behind setting the consortium is to secure more than ten trials as early as possible. The group will be headed by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The move will also enable vaccines to be confidently rolled out in Africa once approved.
The AU Commission says rolling out a vaccine in Africa is key to “limiting transmission, preventing deaths and laying the foundation for socio-economic recovery that should bring Africa’s integration agenda back on track”.
The move will bring together global vaccine developers, funders, and African organisations that facilitate clinical trials to ensure that sufficient data on effects of vaccine candidates on the African population is generated.
South Africa President and the Chairperson of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “Success in developing and providing access to a safe vaccine requires an innovative and collaborative approach, with significant local manufacturing in Africa. We need to support the contribution of African scientists and healthcare professionals. We need to act with urgency.”
South Africa and Egypt are already running human trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine.