AU urges African nations to ensure clinical trials of vaccines before usage

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The African Union (AU) calls on members to strengthen clinical trials and research on the safety and effectiveness of candidate vaccines in the African population.

The call was made by the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), a professional healthcare organization of the African Union Commission.

The African CDC held an African COVID-19 task force meeting on February 9 to review existing data and evidence and recommend various measures for African countries.

“All countries should strengthen their clinical trials research capacity to generate data on the safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates in African populations as recommended by the Africa CDC Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials (CONCVACT),” it said in a special report published last Wednesday.

For countries that have not yet reported the epidemic of new variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 N501Y.V2 (or B.1.351), the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “proceeding with the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

The agency also recommended the country that has reported the issue of the new variant to expedite preparations for the introduction of all COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use or approved by regulatory agencies.

It also called for the expansion of surveillance and testing capabilities and pointed out that many countries in Africa are responding to the second COVID-19 pandemic.

So far South Africa has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Africa.