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SA govt urged to secure early access of Oxford COVID vaccine amid second wave

This as the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine gets positive peer-reviewed results.

Picture: 123rf.

CAPE TOWN - With South Africa officially dealing with a second wave of COVID-19 infections, government has been urged to secure early access to large quantities of a COVID-19 vaccine as more candidates prove safe and effective.

READ MORE: South Africa experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 - Mkhize

This as the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine gets positive peer-reviewed results.

It was partly developed in South Africa and Shabir Madhi, a professor of vaccinology at Wits University, worked on the trial.

He addressed a MyHealthLIVE discussion on the release of the study's first peer-reviewed results on Wednesday.

Professor Madhi said ideally, immunisation should start before a widespread resurgence of COVID-19, which he anticipates will be more prevalent during the first quarter of next year.

“Probably around February next year, we will see a much more generalised resurgence starting to take place across the country unless the behaviour of citizens becomes more conscious about what is required of them to avoid such a resurgence.”

ALSO READ: Teenagers account for most infections in SA's COVID-19 second wave - Mkhize

Madhi said locally, trial participants are being followed up until about 40 to 45 have developed COVID-19, at least two weeks after they've received the second vaccine dose.

Given results from the UK and Brazil, Madhi expects the vaccine to locally provide a similar level of protection of at least 60%.

In South Africa, the vaccine is being evaluated amongst 2,100 participants.

WATCH: Mkhize: Expect faster rise in COVID-19 cases in second wave

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