Researchers are preparing to launch the SA leg of an international trial investigating whether the well-established measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot used in childhood immunisation programmes can protect front-line health-care workers from Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

More than 170 potential Covid-19 vaccines are being developed worldwide, but only nine are in late-stage phase 3 efficacy trials, and none has yet been approved by regulators, says the World Health Organisation. Researchers are thus also investigating whether tried-and-tested vaccines that provide protection from diseases as diverse as polio, tuberculosis and measles might provide a stopgap measure against Covid-19.

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