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UVRI to Study Moderna, Sanofi Efficacy in Protecting People at Risk of Critical COVID-19

She said participants will be divided into three groups. The first one will get one jab, the other two jabs, and the last one three jabs to see if they get protected against developing the symptomatic disease, critical illness requiring hospitalization, and if they are protected against emerging variants such as the latest omicron variant.

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Researchers at the Uganda Virus Research Institute -UVRI will this month start testing Moderna and Sanofi COVID-19 vaccines among pregnant women, the diabetic and people living to see whether they will be protected from getting critical illness if they get infected.

In an interview with URN, Dr. Annet Nanvubya who is the Principal Investigator on the study said they plan to have 126 participants enrolled in the study where they will be monitored over a period of eighteen months.

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She said participants will be divided into three groups where one will get one jab, the other two jabs and the last one three jabs to see if they will be protected against developing symptomatic disease and if they are protected against emerging variants such as the latest omicron variant.  

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It should be noted that while Sanofi vaccine has not been used yet among the general population in Uganda, the country has received more than 2.5million donated doses of Moderna vaccines which were supplied to populations of the districts neighboring Kampala.

Nanvubya says while these have been jabbed, it’s not clear what the outcomes would be since the drug hasn’t been tested among Ugandan populations and not much follow -up has been made even as the National Drug Authority has put up a platform that allows clients to report any unusual effects.

However, commenting about this study, Dr. Brenda Apio Oketch, the Director at UVRI-IAVI vaccine program says it’s important to know how different vaccines behave among Ugandan and African populations considering that previously we have been using products tested and made elsewhere.

She says with COVID-19, Uganda is slowly developing capacity for pre-clinical work that will help in the development of many more effective vaccines in the future. 

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