Policy Brief: African Countries Urged to Conduct Research along COVID 19 Vaccine Roll Out

Omu Anzala, Virology and Immunology Professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology & Senior Researcher at  KAVI Institute of Clinical Research, Nairobi University made these remarks during an Africa Science Media Centre (AfriSMC) briefing. “It should not just be a roll out where we are just giving out vaccines but we are also learning from it,” he said, noting that it will help in picking out pharmacovigilance and any side effects that were not identified during phase three of vaccine development.

Prof. Anzala adds that the research will give more information on the African immune responses, especially of those who had COVID-19 and also in order to guide policy. Though COVID-19 virus has resulted in several variants of interest (Eta, Lota and Epsilon) and concern (Delta, Gamma, Beta and Alpha), there is inadequate knowledge on how these variants are circulating and mixing with one another in the community as well as their impact, Prof. Anzala said.

“We cannot afford to say we are just rolling out vaccines. We must roll out vaccines but must continue with very active research to really understand how these variants are mixing out there in various communities because this must be fed back to the scientists in order to make the next generation of COVID vaccines,” he urged.

Read More on this Policy Brief where Prof. Anzala discusses boosters, vaccination in Africa and vaccine manufacturing here.





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