Africa has joined United Kingdom and Brazil for the first phase of COVID-19 vaccine trial which started Wednesday.
As nervous volunteers received injections, officials say the continent of 1.3 billion people cannot be left behind as it picks 2000 of South Africa’s victims for the trial tests.
The large-scale trial of the vaccine developed at the University of Oxford in Britain is currently being conducted in South Africa, Britain and Brazil with hopes that the United States of America and other countries will join soon.
South Africa has nearly one-third of Africa’s confirmed cases with more than 100,000, including over 2,000 deaths. The country on Tuesday reported its biggest one-day death toll of 111.
“I feel a little bit scared but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others what is going on with the study,” one of the vaccine trial volunteers, Junior Mhlongo, said in Johannesburg on tape.
The African continent now has nearly 325,000 cases as countries loosen restrictions under economic pressure from citizens who say they have to feed their families regardless of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, residents in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital have displayed a strong disbelief and indifference towards the Covid-19 pandemic that has moved the world into hiding.
Shortages of testing materials and medical supplies remain a problem as Africa could become the world’s next hot spot even though the pandemic delayed its spread in Africa.