Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has suspended all HIV vaccine trials in South Africa.
This comes after a major international HIV vaccine trial, which included South Africa, known as the Phambili Study, was halted in September when researchers in the US found that the vaccine being tested could possibly increase the chances of infection among volunteers.
It’s been reported that Tshabalala-Msimang asked researchers on Wednesday to explain why the study was stopped, complaining that she had only found out about the crisis through the media.
South African researchers are awaiting results from local volunteers in the Phambili Study to see if they also showed an increased risk of infection from the vaccine.
Until there is more clarity on the matter, Tshabalala-Msimang has stopped any other HIV vaccine trials.
“We are committed to research, but it can not be research at all costs,” Tshabalala-Msimang said after the meeting in Pretoria.
According to experts, there are currently no other trials underway in South Africa, but studies set to begin in the New Year could be affected.