Health

Covid-19 vaccine trials under ZAMRA spotlight

By KETRA KALUNGA

CLINICAL trials on Ivermectin vaccine as an anti-parasitic drug will be closely monitored and regulated to ensure that it is not harmful to people, the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has said.

ZAMRA recently allowed clinical trials to study the efficacy of the veterinary anti-parasitic drug in the prevention of Covid-19, as was the case in neighbouring Zimbabwe and other countries.

ZAMRA is set to work closely with the task force set up at the Ministry of Health to conduct vaccine trials to ensure that everyone involved in the study was protected.

ZAMRA senior public relations officer, Christabel Illiamupu, said in an interview that it would work closely with the task force to safeguard lives once trials commence.

Ms. Illiamupu said ZAMRA would ensure that trials were done in line with the guidelines which included ethical assessments of trial subjects.

“As we mentioned in our earlier statement, these studies are impending, they are impending studies to explore the efficacy of Ivermectin for treatment and prevention of Covid-19, meaning the studies have not yet commenced,” she said.

She said ZAMRA would thoroughly assess applications from stakeholders willing to conduct clinical vaccine trials in line with its mandate so that no one was harmed in the process.

Ms Illiamupu said only those who meet the required standards in the clinical trial guidelines would be issued with certificates after proper evaluations.

“The ZAMRA has stipulated guidelines that regulate the conduct of clinical trials and act as a basis for issuance of clinical trial certificates, some of the provisions of guidelines include, ethical assessments, insurance of trial subjects and good clinical practice,” she said.

Ivermectin will only be used in approved clinical trials where participants will be closely monitored and generated evidence shall inform policy on the prevention or treatment of Covid-19.

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