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Volunteers needed for Covid-19 vaccine trials

1 September 2020 3:17 PM

"Before enrolling, volunteers have to fully understand the process," says Dr Linda-Gail Bekker of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.

Johnson & Johnson and Novavax will start trials of their prospective Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa in September.

The University of Cape Town Lung Institute is now recruiting volunteers for these trials.

Image: 123rf.com

These two vaccine candidates follow the first clinical trial in Africa for a Covid-19 vaccine, developed by researchers from Oxford University.

All three vaccines are on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of 33 most viable vaccine candidates undergoing clinical trials.

Lester Kiewit interviewed Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, Deputy Director at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.

Before enrolling, volunteers have to fully understand the process. All the ads get approved by an ethical review board before they go public.

Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, Deputy Director - Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

If you are participating in an early-phase trial, where safety is being investigated, trialists are looking for a healthy, low-risk population.

Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, Deputy Director - Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

When trialling if the vaccine works [once safety has largely been established], you may want participants who look like the population in which you hope to deploy the vaccine one day… older people or people with [co-morbidities] …

Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, Deputy Director - Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

People who participate receive reimbursement for their time and pain – it’s required by regulators… and approved by ethical boards.

Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, Deputy Director - Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


1 September 2020 3:17 PM

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