Kenya to take part in the Oxford vaccine trials

[Photo: Al Jazeera]

Nov, 25th 2020 – Kenya is one of the two African countries that will take part in the Oxford vaccine trials. Speaking yesterday, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said that tests are underway at KEMRI to ascertain the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. Mwangangi said, “We have about 400 Kenyans who have been registered in this trial. The trial is currently underway.”

She said that before the vaccine is rolled out in the country, various factors will be considered. she said, “There are three key measures that we will be looking at; one is to ensure it is safe for use, two to ensure it actually does what it should do and three to ensure it is actually efficacious.”

She further said that the recently announced results suggested a 70 percent protection for data collected in Brazil, which could vary from those conducted elsewhere.

KEMRI Kilifi Wellcome Trust team, which is handling the trials in the country, met with the Health Ministry officials on Tuesday to give an update on the progress. Mwangangi said, “We are excited; our teams at Kemri Kilifi are reporting a possible success of this vaccine. We do not have that number of efficacy yet here in Kenya, so the number you have seen in the media is a number from the trial that is happening in Brazil and sometimes you can have differences in terms of geographies when you are testing a vaccine.

She added, “We are going to have discussions with AstraZeneca to see how we can ensure Kenya is first in line because only about eight countries are participating in this trial and Kenya is the second in Africa after South Africa, so there are discussions to see how Kenyans will benefit from taking part in this trial.”

Only 8 countries are participating in trials. Meanwhile the country has recorded 806 Coronavirus recoveries, 727 new positive cases and 17 deaths raising the fatality toll to 1409.

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