As the world races to launch a COVID-19 vaccine, a medical expert believes South Africa will be among those countries that will be prioritised due to its involvement in research and trial phases as compared to other countries.
Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Cape Town and Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Groote Schuur Hospital, Marc Mendelson, says although it could take months before the world gets access to any vaccine, South Africa’s standing should ensure we receive the treatment timeously.
“There is a concern around the buying up of vaccine stocks by some of the high-income countries and pre-ordering and we really looking to the WHO and international bodies to ensure that there is equitable access. South Africa is part of vaccine trials and we are well-positioned to try and influence that.”
The video below is on the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine:
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize says they would like to pursue the possibility of manufacturing vaccines locally.
Update on vaccines: Currently we are participating in the ChAdOx-1 study and in the COVAX project to be part of the global research initiatives as well as the access to vaccines programme. We also wish to pursue the possibility of manufacturing vaccines locally. #HealthUpdate
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) August 5, 2020
The Health Minister was giving an update on vaccines during his media briefing on COVID-19 last week Wednesday.
“We want to participate in the trials and have started on some. We are involved in discussions with the Global Alliance on Vaccine initiatives as well as few other manufacturers of the vaccine to look at what is possible for South Africa at this point.”
In the video below, the full media briefing by the Health Minister: