Ugandan locally-developed Covid-19 vaccine trial to start by October

2022-02-16 18:42:05
Ugandan locally-developed Covid-19 vaccine trial to start by October

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Uganda, Dr Monica Musenero, has said testing the locally-developed Covid-19 vaccines on human beings will start in eight months.

Addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday, Dr Musenero said the vaccine, which has already been tested in common mice, has proven safe and it is capable of triggering an immune response.

She said the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Makerere University scientists is only waiting for the last testing on genetically-engineered mice before trials on humans can start.

This comes days after Kenya launched rapid diagnostic kits for testing COVID-19 and malaria. Rashid Aman, the chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that the malaria rapid diagnostic kit (PlamoCheck) and the PCR COVID-19 testing kit (KEMCoV PCR) were invented by local researchers.

Also last month, one of the world’s biggest vaccine plants— one that is expected to produce 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines annually by 2025 — was launched in Cape Town. This was hailed by many as a milestone in efforts to reduce Africa’s reliance on the West for vaccines.

It also exhibits that South Africa’s medical expertise — thanks to which the world became aware of the Beta and Omicron variants — makes it one of the best hubs to supply the continent with much-needed doses.

This, and other efforts to develop vaccine production in Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, and other countries, are seen as bids for self-reliance in response to a global crisis that has seen rich countries hoard doses, block proposals to share vaccine IP, and fail to meet their foreign aid commitments, leaving only about one in ten Africans fully vaccinated.

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