Africa's initial participation in a COVID-19 trial began this past Wednesday.
The large-scale vaccine was developed at the University of Oxford in Britain; trials are being conducted in Britain, Brazil, and South Africa. South Africa is home nearly one-third of all Africa's confirmed cases. Numbers have climbed to over 106,000, including 2,100 deaths.
"I feel a little bit scared but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others what is going on with the study," said a trial volunteer, Junior Mhlongo.
Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief John Nkengasong said that the pandemic was initially delayed in Africa "but is picking up speed very quickly."
"Unless we act now, Africa is at risk of being left behind on the global vaccine," he said.
African leaders have spoken about the continent being pushed out of the conversation and global race to obtain medical supplies, referred to by the World Health Organization's Africa chief, Matshidiso Moeti, as the "distortion of the global market for key items."