COVID-19: AU launches African consortium for vaccine clinical trial

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The African Union recently launched the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial (CONCVACT). CONCVACT aims to secure more than 10 late stage vaccine clinical trials on the continent and is being implemented as part of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19.

 

According to a statement by Africa CDC, CONCVACT is an outcome of the virtual conference on Africa’s Leadership Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access held between June 24 and 25, 2020. The conference was hosted by Africa CDC and presided over by the chairman of the AU, H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa and the chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat.

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CONCVACT aims to, as early as possible, 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. “The goal is to ensure that sufficient data is generated on the safety and efficacy of the most promising vaccine candidates for the African population so they can be confidently rolled out in Africa once vaccines are approved,” says the statement.

H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa said success in developing and providing access to a safe vaccine requires an innovative and collaborative approach. “We need to support the contribution of African scientists and healthcare professionals. We need to act with urgency,” he urged.

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CONCVACT will be co-chaired by Dr Salim Abdool Karim, head of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for COVID-19 in South Africa; Dr Samba Sow, director-general of the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), Mali; and Dr John Nkengasong, director of Africa CDC. Other members of the consortium include representatives of key organizations supporting clinical trials on the continent, including the WHO; the Africa Academy of Sciences’ Clinical Trials Community; Institute Pasteur of Dakar (IPD), African Vaccine Regulatory Forum, African Medicines Agency, among others.

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“Africa CDC will embark on a multi-stakeholder partnerships drive to advance CONCVACT and other subsidiary initiatives, to ensure broad endorsement and support across Africa, by institutions and the African people. “Africa must play an active role in securing an effective vaccine against COVID-19. This is about our future and our development,” said Dr John Nkengasong.

 

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