Kenya is set to start human trials for the COVID-19 vaccine in the next weeks as 40 Kenyans have volunteered to take part.
The trial is spearheaded by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in collaboration with the University of Oxford, with the trial testing the viability of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.
“Those who will be involved in the trials…their health and well-being will not be affected,” said KEMRI Director-General Prof. Kombe Yeri.
Earlier in the month, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that Africa is in the line up to receive at least 220 million initial doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, once it is found.
WHO Africa Program Area Manager Richard Mihigo said that priority will be given to front-line workers in the continent who will receive the first batch.
Africa has a collective population of about 1.3 billion and distribution to countries will be according to the population and the intensity of the pandemic.
Dubbed COVAX, the global Covid-19 vaccine initiative intends to assist countries in the purchase and fair distribution of 2 billion of the vaccine that will be approved by December 2021.
The initiative has already started testing nine potential vaccines globally.
According to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) boss, Richard Hatchett, two of the nine vaccines are being tested in Africa.
Analysts had initially predicted that Africa would be hit hard by the pandemic. However, this was not the case in most countries.
As of yesterday, COVID-19 cases in Kenya stood at 37,489. Fatalities are at 669 while recoveries at 24,334.