The University of Cape Town (UCT) will begin a phase one clinical trial of a new broad-based Covid-19 vaccine- hAd5 T-cell, that may potentially solve the problem of Covid-19 variants.
The hAd5 T-cell vaccine works without targeting the “spike protein” alone, thereby potentially working against all current and future variants of Covid-19.
The vaccine is developed by ImmunityBio and manufactured by NantKwest and ImmunityBio chairman and CEO Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.
UCT’s Professor Graeme Meintjes said current vaccines being administered internationally are designed to generate immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alone.
“As already witnessed, the spike protein is mutation-prone, with variants 501Y.V2 and B.1.1.7 in this spike protein leading to higher transmissibility, increasing the urgency for a broader range of effective and safe Covid-19 vaccines to be available to the global population,” Meintjes said.
The trial will be conducted at UCT’s Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) Khayelitsha Clinical Research Site.
The first batch of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine arrived in South Africa last night.
The first 80,000 doses of the J&J Covid-19 vaccine will be dispatched to 17 sites across the country as part of an implementation study starting on Wednesday.
Frontline healthcare workers will be vaccinated during the first phase of the rollout.