Researchers in Kenya have begun the process of recruiting 400 volunteers to take part in trials for a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by the UK’s University of Oxford.
The participants must be healthcare workers living in Mombasa and Kilifi, where the trial will take place.
The recruitment process is being conducted by Kemri-Wellcome Trust, a program launched in 1989 when the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) formed a partnership with the Wellcome Trust and the University of Oxford.
The vaccine named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is already being trialed on over 1,000 volunteers in the United Kingdom.
The Kemri-Wellcome Trust has enlisted the Kenya Medical Research Institute to help it recruit the participants, according to BBC.
Last month, Kenyans reacted angrily after UK scientists revealed plans to test the vaccine in Kenya but President Kenyatta dismissed the claims during a state address, saying Kenyans will not be used as guinea pigs.
“Some people were saying in an interview that there is research going on that will have Kenyans used as guinea pigs for a vaccine. Those claims are absolutely false,” Uhuru stated.
Researchers have insisted that they will seek regulatory approval from Kenya’s Health Ministry before any trial begin. They further noted that Kenya’s participation is crucial to establish whether the vaccine suitable for use on the continent.