The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded close to 1.5 million USD to IVI to support clinical trial site preparedness in four African and Asian countries to potentially support future COVID-19 Phase III efficacy vaccine trials.
Following successful completion of early-stage clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, it will be essential to transition to efficacy trials at different sites around the world with high disease burden, including those in resource-limited settings.
To ensure these sites are prepared for efficacy trials with the necessary technical capability, trained staff, sufficient trial participants, and a thorough assessment of prevailing COVID-19 burden, IVI aims to bolster in-country capacity at select sites by 4Q2020.
Dr Florian Marks, Deputy Director General of Epidemiology, Public Health, Impact, and Clinical Development at IVI, said:
“The COVID-19 threat is worldwide, which means preparations for the development and delivery of safe and effective vaccines must also be a global project. It is imperative that lack of resources does not equate to exclusion, that COVID-19 vaccines be regarded as global public goods from the outset, and that equal access is ensured. We look forward to working with our long-time partners in Africa and Asia to accelerate the global push toward a COVID-19 vaccine solution.”
IVI currently conducts active projects in Africa and Asia, including disease prevention and surveillance for cholera and typhoid in Mozambique and Ghana, respectively, as well as a Phase III clinical trial for a novel typhoid conjugate vaccine in the Philippines. IVI also received funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) this May to strengthen COVID-19 surveillance in Madagascar and Burkina Faso.