This week, the very first vaccine trials to be piloted in South Africa for the novel coronavirus, were unveiled.  Here’s what you should know:

  1. The vaccine is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and it’s being piloted in SA and Brazil.
  1. It was developed by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University with the participation of Wits University.
  1. The trial is funded by the Bill Gates Foundation through its partnership with the South African Medical Research Council.
  1. The vaccine is one of some 200 vaccines being developed for COVID-19 around the world.
  1. None of the tests will be conducted on children or pregnant women.
  1. The trials will be conducted on 2000 participants in SA. The first and last group of 50 participants respectively, are HIV positive.
  1. The vaccine uses genetic material called Spike glycoprotein which is commonly found on the surface of the novel coronavirus.
  1. The study was approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPR) and Wits University’s Human Research Ethics Committee.
  2. Wits University’s Dean of Sciences and vaccinology professor Shabir Madhi is the lead investigator for the trials.
  1. The first trial was conducted on June 24 and effectiveness will be determined after over 40 cases are identified, a process expected to be concluded by March 2021.