A vaccine we probably need, any way you say it
Adam Habib's best parting gift to Wits University before he left as vice-chancellor was to appoint Shabir Madhi, the vaccinologist, dean of the Wits faculty of health sciences (medicine). In the face of the coronavirus he has been an ethical and a scientific rock.
He led the local trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine last year and again this year, this time to test the efficacy of the vaccine - of which the government had hastily ordered
1-million doses from India - against the new and more slippery South African variant, N501Y. Madhi was quick to warn that the trial had shown that the vaccine had little success in stopping infection and illness from N501Y. The government responded by halting the rollout of the vaccine to health workers and to begin using the promising Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead...