Massive spike in new COVID infections as new vaccine trial rolls out in South Africa

As of Wednesday, 54 COVID-related deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people who have succumbed to the virus to 90,226.

JOHANNESBURG – There has been a massive increase in the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 in the country.

As of Wednesday, 54 COVID-related deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people who have succumbed to the virus to 90,226.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases says 26,976 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded during the same period.

This increase represents a positivity rate of 32.2%.

Health officials have again called on people to get vaccinated as the fourth wave continues to spread.

An additional 102,925 vaccinations were administered in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to scale up the country’s vaccination campaign and reach more people.

Oravax Medical, a subsidiary of Oramed Pharmaceutical, has deployed a COVID vaccine trial in South Africa that will potentially be more robust against future emerging variants of the coronavirus.

The vaccine study has already recruited its first participant in Johannesburg and the first phase of the clinical trial is expected to enroll 24 participants.

Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron said the focus will be on safety and efficiency.

“The available vaccines only focus on the part of the virus which is the peak which is the part which is most prone to mutate, but this vaccine is based on three proteins and therefore should be able to offer protection against the current variants and future variants, ”he said.

Kidron said they aim to move out of the track phase soon.

“This trial is going to be a very short trial. The idea is to really show as quickly as possible on humans that this oral vaccine is working great, and then we’re going to go to phase two of the fast-track approvals,” Kidron said.

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