The World Health Organization (WHO) has reacted cautiously to Russia's announcement that it is preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19 this October.

African Consortium launched to oversee Covid-19 vaccine trials

CAPE TOWN- The newly established Consortium for Covid-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial (CONCVACT) is set to oversee all vaccine trials in Africa and ensure that the safest and most promising vaccine can be confidently rolled out on the continent once approved. 

The Consortium has been launched by the African Union Commission (AUC) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). 

“The spirit of this consortium is that it brings together all the expertise on the continent so that we can act in a coordinated manner to ensure that vaccine trials are conducted appropriately,” said Director of Africa CDC Dr John Nkengasong in an online media briefing on Thursday. 

CONCVACT aims to secure more than 10 late stage vaccine clinical trials on the continent by bringing together global vaccine developers and funders, as well as African organizations that facilitate clinical trials. 

Head of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Covid-19 in South Africa Dr Salim Abdool Karim will co-chair the Consortium along with Nkengasong and representatives of key organizations including the WHO, The Africa Academy of Sciences’ Clinical Trials Community, and African Vaccine Regulatory Forum.

The Consortium is an outcome of the virtual conference on Africa’s Leadership Role in Covid-19 Vaccine Development and Access held last month. The conference was hosted by Africa CDC and presided over by the Chairperson of the African Union President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“The African initiative to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus is welcomed and encouraged. Through this initiative, Africa will be at the forefront as the world seeks to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Chair of the Africa CDC Governing Board and Minister of Health of Togo Professor Moustafa Mijiyawa.

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