Angola Rules Out COVID-19 Vaccine Testing

Luanda — Angolan authorities have ruled out resorting as for now to any testing for a coronavirus (covid-19) vaccine in the country. According to the Angolan Health minister, Sílvia Lutucuta, there is no reason as yet for exposing patients to such a vaccine in the country that has until now reported as few as 19 positive cases of the pandemic.

Sílvia Lutucuta said Angola will await the results of the testing in other African countries before making a decision on the issue. Last week, two French scientists suggested that a covid-19 vaccine testing should be conducted in Africa, a comment that prompted a condemnation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus branded "racist" the French scientists' comment on Africa continent possibly becoming a testing ground for a covid-19 vaccine.

"Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference. The reaction followed the comments made by Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris, in an interview on the French television LCI channel with Camille Locht, the research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Inserm. Asked to comment on a study for a vaccine for covid-19, Locht responded that "we are thinking of a parallel study in Africa to use this same kind of approach with the BCG placebos," referring to the tuberculosis vaccination that Inserm said appeared to protect children against infections, particularly respiratory diseases like COVID-19. The French scientists' remarks triggered a deluge of criticism on the social media and from several African public figures that strongly condemned the suggestion, taking into account that the continent has until now recorded far less cases of infection than Europe, America and Asia

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