President Cyril Ramaphosa says government is in consultation with several international pharmaceutical companies to get access to a vaccine to combat the coronavirus.
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer earlier announced that its vaccine candidate is showing promising results in stage-three trials of 92% efficacy in preventing COVID-19.
Addressing the nation on the response to the coronavirus pandemic, Ramaphosa says 20 011 people have died from COVID-19 and more than 742 000 cases have been reported.
He also warned South Africans that until a vaccine is developed – health and safety protocols of wearing a mask, constant sanitizing of your hands and social distancing must still be adhered to.
“There are now several candidate vaccines in development across the world, equitable access to an effective vaccine is vital to the successful containment of this pandemic. South Africa is collaborating with several multinational pharmaceutical companies to obtain a safe and effective vaccine for our people. We are contributing towards the availability of a vaccine to the rest of the continent,” adds the President.
The video below is the President’s full address:
Earlier, Pfizer said researchers had analysed 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants and found the vast majority of the infections were in volunteers in the placebo group.
The trial is expected to continue until 164 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are available for analysis.
BioNTech’s co-founder and chief executive said he was optimistic that the protective effect of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine would last for at least a year.
In the video below, Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University, Shabir Madhi react to the news of the vaccine:
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