150 Potential COVID-19 vaccines, 19 for clinical trials in progress, says WHO

*African continent should ensure it gets access to Coronavirus vaccines ─WHO Regional Director

Isola Moses |ConsumerConnect

Scientists have continued to make progress in their current efforts at producing vaccines for novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the World Health Organisation (WHO), African Region, has disclosed that there are about 150 prospective COVID-19 vaccines being developed with 19 in clinical trials.

The United Nations (UN) health agency stated on its Web site, that “globally, there are nearly 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates and currently, 19 are in clinical trials.”

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement Thursday, July 9, 2020, also urged the African continent to take measures in ensuring that they have fair access to the Coronavirus vaccines, agency report stated.

Moeti said that African countries lag behind when it comes to new technologies and vaccines as she called for equity when the COVID-19 vaccines are finally released.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa stated: “It is clear that as the international community comes together to develop safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19, equity must be a central focus of these efforts.”

According to her, “too often, African countries end up at the back of the queue for new technologies, including vaccines.

“These life-saving products must be available to everyone, not only those who can afford to pay.”

It was also observed that South Africa is the first country on the continent to start a clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccines.

“African Academy of Sciences only 2% of clinical trials conducted worldwide occur in Africa,” according to WHO.

Moeti said: “I encourage more countries in the region to join these trials so that the contexts and immune response of populations in Africa are factored in to studies.

“Africa has the scientific expertise to contribute widely to the search for an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

“Indeed, our researchers have helped develop vaccines which provide protection against communicable diseases such as meningitis, Ebola, yellow fever, and a number of other common health threats in the region.”

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