The first Kenyan infants to take part in an Aids vaccine trial have been vaccinated and are being observed to see how their immune systems respond to a new formula that has excited the global science community.
Doctors at the Kenya Aids Vaccine Initiative (Kavi) are conducting a study on the vaccine that is billed to have the most advanced vaccine design ever tested.Forty infants have so far been involved in the Aids vaccine trials, which started two months ago, and the results of the trials are expected in June 2012.
Of those vaccinated so far, 20 received the Aids vaccine plus other vaccines normally administered to infants, while another 20 in the control group received the usual vaccines without the Aids vaccine.
The infants, the youngest volunteers to an HIV vaccine trial in the country, will provide crucial data on whether the Aids vaccine, if proved effective, produces better results when given to a person at infant stage. The babies will also provide data on the vaccine’s safety in newborns.
If the vaccine, known as Modified Vaccine Ankara (MVA), is proved to be effective in subsequent clinical trials, it is going to be given to all children after birth, the same way infants are given anti-tuberculosis vaccines at birth