- An experimental Covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc has proved safe and provoked immune responses in all patients tested
- In the test conducted on 14 July, volunteers were given two doses of the vaccine
- The team that carried out the trials reported that patients showed high levels of virus-killing antibodies
Scientists are inching closer to developing a vaccine for the coronavirus following a report which stated that an experimental vaccine developed by Moderna Inc was safe and provoked immune responses all patients tested in an initial safety trial.
Reuters reported that in the test, which was conducted on Tuesday, 14 July, patients who volunteered were given two doses of the vaccine.
The team that carried out the trials reported that patients showed high levels of virus-killing antibodies that exceeded the average levels seen in people who had recovered from Covid-19.
According to findings from the experiment which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, more than half of the volunteers experienced mild or moderate side effects like fatigue, headaches, chills, muscle aches or pain at the injection site.
The report stated that three of 14 patients given the highest dose experienced severe side effects but said that dose is not being used in larger trials. It was also disclosed that these reactions were likely to occur after the second dose and in people who got the highest dose.
Briefly.co.za previously reported that the first participants in the trial will be vaccinated soon, according to the University of the Witwatersrand.
The South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial aims to find a vaccine that will prevent infection of the virus that causes Covid-19.
The trial will be led by Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University and Director of the South Africa Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA).
Commenting at the launch of the vaccine trial, which will take place at numerous sites in SA, Madhi said that:
“This is a landmark moment for South Africa and Africa at this stage of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we enter winter in South Africa and pressure increases on public hospitals, now more than ever we need a vaccine to prevent infection by Covid-19."
Professor Zeblon Vilakazi facilitated the virtual launch and weighed in on the historic moment:
“Wits University identified vaccinology as a key institutional flagship project in 2016. Vaccines are amongst the most powerful tools to mitigate life-threatening diseases.
"Without a vaccine against Covid-19, there will likely be ongoing contagion, causing severe illness and death. Wits is committed to developing a vaccine to save lives in collaboration with the University of Oxford.”
The vaccine is currently being evaluated in a massive trial in the United Kingdom, with over 4 000 participants already enrolled. The vaccine was developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute.
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