Harare-Zimbabwe has agreed to join other countries that are participating in the Covid-19 clinical trial for candidate vaccines to see how people infected with the virus respond to a new intervention.
This development was revealed by the Minister of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) Dr. Obadiah Moyo at yesterday’s update between his ministry and a team of scientists.
National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Director Professor Nicholas Midzi said clinical trial was meant to broaden the base of the sample for the coronavirus vaccine testing, The Herald has revealed.
“Solidarity trial is an international clinical trial, where countries will be administering candidate treatments to patients. The findings will be collated with what other countries have observed; this will create a wider sample from which a decision on the safety and efficacy of possible vaccines can be made .
“The Solidarity Trial will compare four treatment candidates against standard of care, to assess their relative effectiveness against Covid-19. By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs are useful in treating or managing Covid-19 symptoms,” Professor Midzi said.
Vaccines under clinical tests include Remdesivir, which was previously developed for for Ebola, Ritonavir or Lopinavir a treatment for HIV, Interferon beta-1a, a treatment for multiple sclerosis, Chroloquine and Hydroxychloroquine, a treatment for malaria and rheumatology respectively.
All these vaccines have been tried in Europe and China but need randomised tests in a different environment.
Prof. Mbizi said possibility of a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in winter is very high, therefore, Zimabwe’s participation in the search for a vaccine is imperative.
“Our mathematical modelling, which we use to map scenarios show that we may see an increase in Covid-19 cases this winter,” he said.
Meanwhile, the clinical trials of the vaccine have emerged in the midst of prevailing conspiracy theories alluding that purported coronavirus vaccines to Africa are poisons to get rid of the black race.