Zimbabwe has joined other countries, in participating in the ongoing Covid-19 clinical trials. The countries have signed up to widen the testing sample size for four possible vaccines to the pandemic. This was revealed at yesterday’s update between Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo and a team of scientists whose insights are informing the country’s Covid-19 response.
The Solidarity Trial, a multinational test of possible treatment options is being coordinated by the World Health Organisation.
National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Director Professor Nicholas Midzi said the trial was meant to expedite the finding of a vaccine.
“Solidarity trial is an international clinical trial, where countries will be administering candidate treatments to patients. The findings will be collated with what other countries have observed; this will create a wider sample from which a decision on the safety and efficacy of possible vaccines can be made,” Professor Midzi said.
Zimbabwe’s acceptance means when the ultimate decision is made the applicability of the vaccine to our local environment would have been considered as a variable.
Experts believe it will help bring a solution that is proven to work within our context.
“The Solidarity Trial will compare four treatment candidates against standard of care, to assess their relative effectiveness against Covid-19. By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs are useful in treating or managing Covid-19 symptoms,” Prof Midzi said.
Treatment options under this trial include Remdesivir, which was previously tested as an Ebola treatment, Lopinavir or Ritonavir a licensed treatment for HIV, Interferon beta-1a, which is used to treat multiple sclerosis as well as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine used to treat malaria and rheumatology conditions respectively.
The trials come amid conspiracy theories suggesting that the purported vaccines are poisons to wipe out the African race.