Eskom interim chairperson, Malegapuru Makgoba, has been appointed to serve on the 12-member expert panel of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the first COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.
The state-owned power utility said in a statement Makgoba, who also serves as South Africa’s Health Ombud, has been invited to serve on the panel by the government of the USA and would join nine scientists, physicians, ethicists and biostatisticians from the USA, and two experts from Brazil and the United Kingdom
“We are proud that an African scientist associated with Eskom has been given this recognition and are confident that Professor Makgoba will lend his skill to the fight against the pandemic and discharge his scientific expertise to the benefit of all humanity,” said Eskom.
”Finding a safe and efficacious vaccine is the ultimate goal that has become a global emergency, to significantly impact and to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused so much devastation and misery to the whole of humankind and the future of the world,” added Eskom.
The Sekhukhune born Makgoba is an immunologist, physician, public health advocate, academic and former vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Data and Safety Monitoring Board is responsible to ensure the safety of participants, the efficacy and immunogenicity of the candidate vaccine being tested or on trial, and it is the final structure to pronounce on vaccine approval.