South African volunteers will be administered with the vaccine to test safety and efficacy before the vaccine is released to the public. Although the testing of this vaccine is definitely good news, it is important to note that it will still be more than a year before it will be made available for use to the public.
Dr Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at WITS, said that they only expect public distribution in the 2nd half of 2021. “So when is it possible that the vaccine might become available to the public? It’s a difficult question, but my best guess right now is probably around about September or October of next year, provided that we actually show that the vaccine works this year.
The longer that we delay being able to show that the vaccine actually works, the further it pushes out the timeline that the vaccine would become available,” Prof Madhi said.