Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng is optimistic that the world will have a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. The are hundreds of projects around the world which are centered at finding a possible vaccine to protect people before they’re exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Aceng made reference to trials by Oxford University in England with the hope that they are more likely to produce results for the world before the year ends. The said vaccine uses a modified virus to trigger the immune system and it was reported to be effective against COVID-19 after it was given to six rhesus macque monkeys.
The hope was boosted early this month when the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca signed landmark agreements with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the Serum Institute of India (SII), in its commitment to broad global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Through the agreement, the entities are supporting the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of 300 million doses of the vaccine with delivery starting by the end of the year. In addition, the university and industry partnership reached a licensing agreement with the Serum Institute of India to supply one billion doses for low-and-middle-income countries with a commitment to provide 400 million before the end of 2020.
Aceng says that she has already alerted the Ministry of Finance to be ready to spend on the vaccine in order to save the lives of Ugandans which are threatened by the spread of coronavirus disease. She was speaking during an event to launch the drive to spray mosquitoes using Microbial Larvicide, in Kabale district last evening.
Aceng also asked locals along the border to maintain isolation whenever they cross to Rwanda to harvest crops from their gardens. She also asked men with intentions of crossing to Rwanda looking for women to marry to wait until the pandemic is declared under control.
Initially, Dr Lynda Stuart, the Deputy Director of Vaccines and Human Immunobiology at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had said that he closest date that a COVID-19 vaccine can be ready is June 2021.