Jump to content

Covid-19 Vaccine Trials in South Africa: Another Tuskegee? #Black Lives Matter Around the World

Guinea Pigs Forever? #Black Lives Matter around the world.

Nurses Disasters Article   posted

simba and mufasa has 16 years experience.

Black this….., black that……, poverty this …, health disparities that….., police brutality here and am adding to the list, black exploitation by pharmaceuticals. Why not test in Italy, France, New York, New Jersey or Connecticut? Racism? Bigotry? Greediness? Ignorance or Plain Stupidity #Black Lives Matter around the world.

Covid-19 Vaccine Trials in South Africa: Another Tuskegee?  #Black Lives Matter Around the World
Share Article

The death of George Floyd has unveiled many atrocities done to harm black people all over the world. We have seen all races united to give us a voice. During COVID-19, poverty, health disparities and comorbidities such as HTN and diabetes have claimed the lives of black people more than other races. Black people have been hit by a double edged sword, everywhere they turn, they are being exploited, killed or harmed and pharmaceuticals are guilty as well, they see black poor people, they see gold, they test medications, vaccines and perform medical trials, yet black people do not reap what these companies harvest: they do not enjoy the proceeds, yet remain poor, die from harm or plain simple, contribute without enough compensation

Amid all the riots and chaos in the world, I was watching the evening news where I saw some black South Africans sitting on a bench waiting for their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine. My heart sank; I was so helpless, I sobbed. I called my daughter, who will be taking step one exam to complete her medical degree and become a physician to watch with me. This has been a hot topic in my household, and it should be time for change. My daughter has been involved in research and has evidenced the unfair treatment of blacks. I was outraged; I could not finish my dinner.  

Africans Used for Testing COVOD-19 Vaccines

We witnessed the French doctors on television,  not knowing that they were being taped discussing their plan to test the COVID-19 vaccine in Africans (Kossoff, 2020). Numerous relatives from South Africa and Zimbabwe have been calling us seeking advice about the vaccine trials, and we told them to absolutely not to take it. There goes another Tuskegee again. How long can black people suffer, not only racism, health disparities, but they are subject to many medical trials and vaccines that can harm them. No one knows the long term effects of the vaccine.

Two French doctors discussed on live television how a new COVID-19 vaccine under development should be first tested in Africa, "where there are no masks, no treatment, nor intensive care." (Kossoff, 2020) 

One of them, Jean-Paul Mira, even compared Africans to prostitutes who were the focus of past AIDS studies. "We tried things on prostitutes because they are highly exposed and do not protect themselves," he said (Kossoff, 2020)

Growing up in Zimbabwe, Africa, I have witnessed many trials of medications and vaccines for HIV, oral contraceptives, to name a few. Many African countries are breeding grounds for big western pharmaceuticals, yet in the long run do not benefit from the proceeds.  Many of the research participants do not consent and are not even aware of what is being given due to health illiteracy, which is a human right violation.  

I have living relatives that have suffered the effects of such trials. I have an aunt who was given an oral contraceptive that turned out to be fatal. We only found out 10 years later when she was trying to have children.  Another relative was given trials of polio vaccine which also resulted in harm. Women’s reproductive health is being violated, the old, poor and frail succumb to these big companies, even children are not exempt. African leaders are poor and greedy, they are so selfish that they sacrifice their people in exchange of cuff links, and a packet of sugar, what a disgrace!

Violation of Human Rights

Apartheid in South Africa and colonizers of African countries were characterized by systematic violation of human rights of the Black population (Barsdorf & Wassenaar, 2005). Succeeding ruling institutions perpetuated and enforced such violations (Barsdorf & Wassenaar, 2005). Consequently, Black South Africans may be apprehensive of scientific research in which the Black population are targeted as participants, regardless of the reason for them being selected. In America, Blacks are targeted as well due to poverty and low health literacy levels.

Increasingly, people worry that undue inducements for research participants in developing countries compromise the voluntariness necessary for informed consent (Emanuel, Currie, & Herman, 2005). In general, these research participants are poor, poorly educated, with access to few health-care services. They are often powerless, especially compared with pharmaceutical companies and researchers from developed countries. 

What makes Africa Vulnerable

What makes individuals, groups, or even entire countries vulnerable? And why is vulnerability a concern in bioethics? A simple answer to both questions is that vulnerable individuals and groups are subject to exploitation, and exploitation is morally wrong. Vulnerable individuals can be harmed. African governments have to protect their people by raising awareness of exploitation and efforts to enhance the ability to protect their citizens from exploitation at the hands of powerful sponsors of research and not be enticed by expensive gifts.

Conclusion

James Marion Sims performed gynecological exams on enslaved black women and their children because he thought black women were less intelligent than their white counterparts (Sartin, 2004). The Tuskegee's black men were infected with syphilis without their knowledge (Reverby, 2012). Some people might say, why are you bringing this up, it was done long ago. But my point is to show that there is trend since slavery in using poor black people for research, many people were harmed, in case of good results, not compensated accordingly.

There is a trend of exploitation, and it is still taking place in America and poor African countries in 2020. Now that we can discuss racism, bigotry, oppression lets involve pharmaceutical companies. As nurses, we cannot participate in such activities, and it is our duty to educate and inform people in vulnerable populations about informed consent and participation in human trials. I am glad I can write about this and enlighten everyone without fear of retribution or being told by white people that racism is not real and it is an imaginary situation in black man/woman’s head. It's real, people, I am black and beautiful and a proud African .

When pharmaceuticals see poor black people, they see gold, free guinea pigs for research!

#Black Lives Matter - around the world. Stop medical exploitation on blacks!

References

Barsdorf, N. W., & Wassenaar, D. R. (2005). Racial differences in public perceptions of voluntariness of medical research participants in South Africa. Social Science & Medicine, 60(5), 1087-1098.
Campbell, B. (2004). Informed consent. Ann R Coll Surg Engl, 86, 457-458.
Emanuel, E. J., Currie, X. E., & Herman, A. (2005). Undue inducement in clinical research in developing countries: is it a worry? The Lancet, 366(9482), 336-340.
Kossoff, J. (2020) 2 top French doctors said on live TV that coronavirus vaccines should be tested on poor Africans, leaving viewers horrified. Business Insider.
Reverby, S. M. (Ed.). (2012). Tuskegee's truths: rethinking the Tuskegee syphilis study. UNC Press Books.
Sartin, J. S. (2004). J. Marion Sims, the father of gynecology: Hero or villain?. Southern medical journal, 97(5), 500-506.

#researchpooper, Phd, MSN, CMSRN, Clinical adjunct and Educator, Travel RN/ICU/CVICU

4 Articles   52 Posts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are regulatory and genetic reasons for choosing one population over another for your study. Skin color and culture are meaningless anthropological artifacts continually pushed by those who wish to perpetuate the madness of differentiating humans based on exterior actions and appearance instead of appreciating both the commonality and diversity of our genetic makeup. 

Comparative genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2 in different populations

A Hit With The Ladies specializes in Psych.

I don't think it's ethical at all to test vaccines on African people, or any poor people on this planet. This is wrong.

herring_RN specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical.

We MUST do all possible to avoid taking advantage of people. I think at minimum the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guiding Principles should be followed. I'll post a small section:

Potential participants should make their own decision about whether they want to participate or continue participating in research. This is done through a process of informed consent in which individuals

  • (1) are accurately informed of the purpose, methods, risks, benefits, and alternatives to the research,
  • (2) understand this information and how it relates to their own clinical situation or interests, and
  • (3) make a voluntary decision about whether to participate.

Individuals should be treated with respect from the time they are approached for possible participation — even if they refuse enrollment in a study — throughout their participation and after their participation ends. This includes:

  • respecting their privacy and keeping their private information confidential
  • respecting their right to change their mind, to decide that the research does not match their interests, and to withdraw without a penalty
  • informing them of new information that might emerge in the course of research, which might change their assessment of the risks and benefits of participating
  • monitoring their welfare and, if they experience adverse reactions, unexpected effects, or changes in clinical status, ensuring appropriate treatment and, when necessary, removal from the study
  • informing them about what was learned from the research

Guiding Principles for Ethical Research

Quote
On 7/3/2020 at 2:49 PM, A Hit With The Ladies said:

I don't think it's ethical at all to test vaccines on African people, or any poor people on this planet. This is wrong.

It does seem a touch unethical doesn’t it; even with informed consent you are exploiting someone’s vulnerability for lucre in the name of the greater good. That said; I have no problem with human experimentation if everyone is a willing participant. 

NRSKarenRN specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Here's a June 2020 list of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials occurring worldwide in varying locations; includes which phase trial is in.  Oxford Univ, England most advanced at Phase 2/3.

ABC News

Out of the lab and into people’s arms: A list of COVID-19 vaccines that are being studied in clinical trials

Out of the lab and into people’s arms: A list of COVID-19 vaccines that are being studied in clinical trials

Trial sites include:

  • UK
  • US -various state University locations
  • Germany: Berlin
  • Canada
  • China
  • Australia: Herston and Melbourne

Canada list of trials:

Drugs and vaccines for COVID-19: List of authorized clinical trials

Could it possibly be they are testing the vaccine on one of the most vulnerable populations?  

If proper informed consent is obtained, I don’t see the problem.  White people in the US are also testing vaccines, so it’s not like only people in obscure parts of Africa are being tested.  It’s not Tuskegee again.  You need to rethink that.  Those people were tested without informed consent and without their knowledge.  

You need to be able to accurately prove that is happening again.  That no other people are in the vaccine trials and that those in Africa are being done without fully understanding what is happening.  Prove it and I will advocate for you.  But knowing the initial trials happening here in the US several months ago, I don’t think you can.

simba and mufasa has 16 years experience.

Hi Everyone

Due to time constraints, I will not be able to respond individually. The point of this article is to highlight that NIH guidelines are not utilized in these countries. Even if they are, most of them are not transparent and people end up in trials not knowing what they are being subjected to. Of course there are trials here in America and abroad, what about New York or Jersey which had the highest COVID numbers?  Good for the English and other countries if given enough informed consent and agreement to participate. Yes, the dialogue is to highlight what has been happening for decades and yes, it comes down to dividing black and white and it is real.

There is a saying " walk a mile in someone else’s shoes". That is why racism and bigotry is still strife, those who do not experience any of the situations black people are talking about will try to talk down, trample, force one to choose words according to what they want to hear, suppressing the voices of many. I do not have to prove a point to any one, history and other occasions have been documented. The fact is that there is violation of human rights and exploitation of people in African countries and that needs change as well. If research or trials are done, it should be fair and people should be compensated accordingly.

Thank you for participating and sharing your different opinions, that is why this is such a great county.

Dr Madenya 

cardiacfreak specializes in Hospice.

6 hours ago, munyaradzi rwakonda said:

There is a saying " walk a mile in someone else’s shoes". That is why racism and bigotry is still strife, those who do not experience any of the situations black people are talking about will try to talk down, trample, force one to choose words according to what they want to hear, suppressing the voices of many. 

Truer words have not been spoken.  

NRSKarenRN specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Multiple articles re South Africa Vaccine Trial. Karen

American Association for the Advancement of Science/UrekAlert!

News Release 23-Jun-2020

University of the Witwatersrand

First COVID-19 vaccine trial in South Africa begins

Quote

...Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University and Director of the South Africa Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA), leads the South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial.

Wits University is collaborating with the University of Oxford and the Oxford Jenner Institute on the South African trial....

...Prior to launch, the South African study was subject to rigorous review and has been approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Furthermore, after eliciting and considering public comment, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) approved import of the investigational vaccine for use in the trial.

The vaccine is already being evaluated in a large clinical trial in the UK where more than 4,000 participants have already been enrolled. In addition to the South African study, similar and related studies are about to start in Brazil. An even larger study of the same vaccine of up to 30,000 participants is planned in the USA.

First COVID-19 vaccine trial in South Africa begins

South Africa begins coronavirus vaccine trial

The World,  Public radio program of WGBH

Quote

...The same Oxford vaccine trial was recently launched in Brazil as well. The country currently has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world.

According to Mahlangu, it’s imperative to test the same vaccine in different parts of the world, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

“With many of these studies. One might find either environmental differences or even genetic differences in the various populations in Africa,” he explained, noting that the coronavirus itself could also have regional variations....

South Africa begins coronavirus vaccine trial

I wonder if these people are being paid, or are volunteering? It does sound suspect for French researchers to be using poor people in Africa as Guinea Pigs.

Remember,  though,  South Africa is a majority Black nation, with Black leaders. Why are they allowing this if it's racism?

BeenThere2012 specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 hour ago, Emergent said:

I wonder if these people are being paid, or are volunteering? It does sound suspect for French researchers to be using poor people in Africa as Guinea Pigs.

Remember,  though,  South Africa is a majority Black nation, with Black leaders. Why are they allowing this if it's racism?

She explained it in her post: Poverty pushes many for personal gain.    Unethical practices of leaders go on all the time in the name of greed, and disrespect for their people.  Why would these companies choose South Africans to do these trials?  Because they know they can get many to participate out of fear and not realizing EXACTLY what they are agreeing to due to lack of education.  Yes they do give consent, but while not fully understanding all the consequences.

53 minutes ago, BeenThere2012 said:

She explained it in her post: Poverty pushes many for personal gain.    Unethical practices of leaders go on all the time in the name of greed, and disrespect for their people.  Why would these companies choose South Africans to do these trials?  Because they know they can get many to participate out of fear and not realizing EXACTLY what they are agreeing to due to lack of education.  Yes they do give consent, but while not fully understanding all the consequences.

Are they being paid? I know here in the US, people get paid to participate in trials.

I'll bet the going rate is cheaper in Africa. These pharmaceutical companies are all about profit!

56 minutes ago, BeenThere2012 said:

She explained it in her post: Poverty pushes many for personal gain.    Unethical practices of leaders go on all the time in the name of greed, and disrespect for their people.  Why would these companies choose South Africans to do these trials?  Because they know they can get many to participate out of fear and not realizing EXACTLY what they are agreeing to due to lack of education.  Yes they do give consent, but while not fully understanding all the consequences.

Are they being paid? I know here in the US, people get paid to participate in trials.

I'll bet the going rate is cheaper in Africa. These pharmaceutical companies are all about profit!

NRSKarenRN specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Facts matter...

From the several websites I visited, people are signing up as volunteers due to a sense of patriotic duty or to help find a vaccine that will prevent family from getting virus.  Wits University fact sheet states informed consent will be obtained, getting E diary to document symptoms, medical followup for 1 year.

Trial ongoing in Brazil and later US with same ChAdOx1-Cov19 vaccine serum obtained from UK Oxford University --- THE viral study being promoted here in US as most advanced vaccine study and expected to be ready for worldwide use by  Winter/ Spring 2021.

Astra Zeneca will manufacture this vaccine if found safe and effective.  Unable to find any info re payment for study participants. Karen

South Africa:  Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial  Fact Sheet

Quote

Research sites

Researchers at sites in Gauteng will begin testing the Covid-19 vaccine in human volunteers on Wednesday, 24 June 2020. The study is being undertaken in urban metropoles where the risk of SARS-CoV2 infection is high, and which are likely to be Covid-19 hotspots. The study may be extended to sites in Cape Town over the next few weeks.

Participants

The study aims to enrol 1,950 adult volunteers aged 18-65 years and who are HIV negative. They should not have tested positive for Covid-19 and should not be pregnant or breast-feeding, nor have previously participated in a trial with an adenoviral vaccine or received any other coronavirus vaccine.

The trial will also enrol a smaller number (50) of people living with HIV to examine the safety and how well they respond to the vaccine.

Participants will need to provide written informed consent to participate in the trial and they will remain on the trial for approximately one year....

... Participants will be given an E-diary to record any symptoms experienced for seven days after receiving the vaccine. They will also record if they feel unwell for the following three weeks.

Following vaccination, participants will attend a series of follow-up visits. During these visits, researchers will check participants’ observations, review the completed diaries, and take blood samples, which will be used to assess the immune response to the vaccine.

If participants develop Covid-19 symptoms during the study, they can contact a member of the clinical team who will assess them for infection. Should a participant become particularly unwell, they will be assisted to seek hospital care.

http://www.wits.ac.za/covid19vaccine/fact-sheet/

 

On 7/3/2020 at 2:49 PM, A Hit With The Ladies said:

 I don't think it's ethical at all to test vaccines on African people, or any poor people on this planet. This is wrong.

Sadly, we live in a world that’s completely divided. God loves us all and it’s a ashame how one feel they should experiment on one particular group of people just to see how it would affect them before it’s FDA approved. 

herring_RN specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical.

This clinical trial has not started yet

COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) Trial in South African Adults With and Without HIV-infection

Sponsor: University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Collaborators: Medical Research Council, South Africa

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation University of Oxford

Information provided by (Responsible Party): Shabir Madhi, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Brief Summary: A Phase I/II, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, individually randomized trial to assess safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the candidate Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in adults aged 18-65 years living with and without HIV in South Africa. The vaccine or placebo will be administered via an intramuscular injection into the deltoid muscle of the non-dominant arm...

COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) Trial in South African Adults With and Without HIV-infection

herring_RN specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical.

Quote

Healthcare worker unions explain their concerns

Access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a key concern for healthcare workers since early in South Africa’s COVID-19 epidemic. These concerns are becoming more acute as confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa this week shot up to over 100 000, with over 3 500 of these cases in healthcare workers.

But, as representatives from four different trade unions explain, access to PPE is far from the only issue. Amongst others, unions are also in a salary disputes with government and concerned about staff shortages, health worker safety, and the psychological strain workers are under.

According to Kevin Halama, Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) spokesperson, the public healthcare system has many serious challenges.

“There is a problem with procurement of equipment. Workers need tools of trade but you find out when workers get to the hospital the equipment is faulty or not readily available or it’s just not up to scratch,” Halama says. “At times there is no medication. A number of facilities have poor infrastructure. Cables are exposed, poor town planning, buildings are dilapidated and overcrowded.”......   Access to appropriate PPE may not be the only issue, but it is certainly the issue of the moment...

COVID-19: Healthcare worker unions explain their concerns 

Many posts have been removed/edited that took this Article off-topic.

Some posts were removed that were against TOS for personal one-on-one engagement, debating each other and not the topic.

Posts were also removed in violation of TOS regarding hate speech. This will NOT be tolerated and future posts in like will result in the immediate closure of the violator's account.

We thank you in advance for staying on topic and complying with TOS.

simba and mufasa has 16 years experience.

We can experience the best if people around us receive the best experience not exploitation by a few:

"Skin color and culture are meaningless anthropological artifacts continually pushed by those who wish to perpetuate the madness of differentiating humans based on exterior actions and appearance instead of appreciating both the commonality and diversity of our genetic makeup ". 

"In addition to the South African study, similar and related studies are about to start in Brazil. An even larger study of the same vaccine of up to 30,000 participants is planned in the USA".

"It’s not Tuskegee again.  You need to rethink that. You need to be able to accurately prove that is happening again"

We are living in a time when we are divided, with selfishness, seeing each other as competitors, refuting and questioning life experiences of blacks that have been documented since the beginning of time. I am going to rephrase my feelings as I have seen and have experienced in my lifetime and no-one can tell me how I feel as a black person .  Another Tuskegee, yes, in my life, not yours that is how I visualize and see the injustices. I do not have to prove a point to anyone, history speaks for itself, maybe some people might take the time to educate themselves on the  human trials done on blacks here in America and abroad. If skin color and culture are meaningless, then why the brutality and other racism acts including human trials being perpetuated. The ranting and refuting is the core of bigotry. That is the divide,just because  you never experienced  it so all you would like me to prove a point, pressure bursts pipes. My life experience gives validity and credibility to my point. Take a time to digest The whole point of this is:

"It does seem a touch unethical doesn’t it; even with informed consent you are exploiting someone’s vulnerability for lucre in the name of the greater good"

"I don't think it's ethical at all to test vaccines on African people, or any poor people on this planet. This is wrong."

Thank you

Dr Madenya

×

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.

OK