November 5, 2020

We won’t be Covid-19 vaccine guinea pigs’

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Munyaradzi Chamalimba

Amidst the rush for a Covid-19 vaccine globally, Zimbabwe says its citizens will not be used as Guinea pigs for trials.

National Covid-19 Response Chief Co-ordinator Dr Agnes Mahomva said this during a meeting with members of the Political Actors Dialogue in the capital, Harare, on Thursday.

Dr Mahomva said due diligence will be followed before Zimbabwe administers vaccines.

“We are not allowing a vaccine that comes here just to be injected into our people when our own scientists, based on our own experience, have not looked at it carefully.

“We are also not naïve enough to think that we can manufacture a vaccine ourselves.”

Dr Mahomva said authorities are monitoring vaccine trials globally, “paying attention that we are not being used as Guinea Pigs”.  

More than 150 coronavirus vaccines are being developed worldwide, with scientists optimistic one will be channeled on to the market soon.

Africa’s first clinical trial was conducted in South Africa in June 2020, and Phase Two began in September, running up to December.

The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg is responsible for the trial.

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