While the World hits the streets to and social media to remind us all that ‘Black Lives Matter’ and that we should check our white privilege, the first large scale coronavirus vaccine trials begin in South Africa.
‘Africa’s first participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial started Wednesday as volunteers received injections developed at the University of Oxford in Britain, while officials said the continent of 1.3 billion people cannot be left behind.’
The name of the vaccine, which was developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute in the UK, is ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. It’s a weakened and non-replicating version of a common cold virus which has been engineered to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
Just how many are involved in the trial seems to be a mystery, no reports indicate an exact number, however it is being referred as ‘thousands’ by some reports:
Oxford University, in conjunction with South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand, announced Wednesday thousands of volunteers between the ages of 18 and 65 who received the vaccination will be monitored for 12 months to see how well the vaccine guards against COVID-19.
The vaccine has already been trialed in the UK on 4000 participants, however it should be noted that these were willing participants giving informed consent.
Just how participants were chosen in South Africa is not clear, but one thing you can be sure of is that it is unlikely to be through informed consent.
Junior Mhlongo from Johannesburg who was one of the participants said:
“I feel a little bit scared but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others what is going on with the study,”
The irony of comments from Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is not lost when this trial follows shortly after he said:
“Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine,”
His comment came following the controversial debate on French TV channel LCI where Camille Locht, head of research at Inserm health research group, was talking about a vaccine trial in Europe and Australia.
Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin hospital in Paris, then said: “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatments, no resuscitation?”
The debate sparked outrage around the World and was condemned as racist, and yet, here we are just weeks later doing just that.
The Worlds Largest Human Laboratory
Africa and India have been the testing ground for Western medicine for decades, while small-scale studies are typically done in-house here in the West with full informed consent, in Africa and India these trials are far larger, with a broader test group and little to no informed consent.
As the average white liberal continues to virtue signal across social media and on the streets over their fury over the murder of George Floyd and the systemic racism that exists in society, they fail to really tackle the root of the problem.
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