The Ifakara Health Institute(IHI) has launched a trial for a novel rabies vaccine in human volunteers in Tanzania.
The vaccine is designed for use as single-dose regimen, according to scientists at IHI.
Currently approved human vaccines require repeated dosing, limiting their use in areas where they are needed most.
The announced trails are conducted in collaboration with the University of Oxford which had produced the vaccine and tested it for the first time in the United Kingdom.
Rabies causes about 50,000 deaths every year, mostly in Asia and Africa, with more than 1500 deaths reported annually in Tanzania
The vaccine, known as “ChAdOx2 RabG” has the potential to induce protective immune responses with a single dose compared to other existing vaccines, IHI said in a statement.
The Principal Investigator of the trial Dr. Ally Olotu who is IHI’s Head of the Interventions and Clinical Trials Department said the study would generate important data on the safety and ability of the vaccine to induce effective immune responses and the duration of the immune response in populations where rabies is endemic.
Dr Sandy Douglas, Research Group Leader and Chief Investigator of the trial from the University of Oxford, said current rabies vaccines are effective but they require multiple doses and they’re too expensive for broad use.
“A single-dose, low-cost vaccine would be a game-changer – this trial should show us whether our new vaccine could provide that,” she said.