Shabir Madhi

Shabir Ahmed Madhi
Shabir Madhi for Fundación Civio.jpg
Madhi in 2017
Born1966 (age 55–56)
NationalitySouth African
EducationUniversity of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Known forLeading COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa
Medical career
ProfessionPhysician
Sub-specialtiesVaccinology

Shabir Ahmed Madhi (born 1966) is a South African physician who is professor of vaccinology and director of the South African Medical Research Council Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, and National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology Research Chair in Vaccine Preventable Diseases. In January 2021, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwateratand.

He was executive director of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases from 2011 to 2017, and has served on several WHO committees in roles pertinent to vaccines and pneumonia. In 2018, he co-founded the African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE) and was appointed Chair of South Africa's National Advisory Group on Immunization (NAGI).

His research has included studies on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and rotavirus vaccine, and in pregnant women, the influenza and respiratory syncytial virus vaccines.

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he has been leading COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa, including the first in Africa. In 2021 he stated that the first and foremost method of ending COVID-19 in South Africa is to implement a mass vaccination programme.

Early life and education

Madhi was born in 1966.[1] His father was a teacher and mother a housewife.[2] Initially aspiring to becoming an engineer, he opted to accept a bursary to study medicine and was initially reluctant to persist with his medical education.[2] In 1990 he completed his undergraduate and postgraduate training at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and six years later, became a fellow of the College of Paediatrics (FCPaeds (SA)).[3] During this time, with encouragement from Glenda Gray, he applied for a post under professor Keith Klugman, to work on vaccines for pneumonia.[2]

In 1998 he received a master's degree in medicine (paediatrics).[1] He gained his PhD in 2003.[1][3]

Career

Madhi is professor of vaccinology and director of the South African Medical Research Council Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, and National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology Research Chair in Vaccine Preventable Diseases.[3][4][5] These units have been rebranded as the MRC Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA).[6]

He was executive director of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases from 2011 to 2017, and has served on several WHO committees in roles pertinent to vaccines and pneumonia.[3] In 2018, after spending four years as deputy-chair of South Africa's National Advisory Group on Immunization (NAGI), he became its chairperson.[3] In the same year he co-founded the African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE), based at the University of the Witwatersrand, with the aim of expanding expertise in vaccinology in Africa.[3] In January 2021, he became Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of the Witwateratand.[7][8]

Pneumonia vaccine

His research has included studies on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.[3][9][10] This research led to the WHO recommendations on the delivery of this vaccine in low and middle-income countries.[3]

Rotavirus vaccine

Madhi led the first study that showed that a rotavirus vaccine could significantly prevent severe diarrhoea during the first year of life in African babies. It was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2010.[11][12] The paper provided one of the key pieces of evidence for the WHO recommendations of universal rotavirus vaccination.[3]

Flu vaccine

In pregnant women, he studied the effectiveness of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus vaccines.[3][9][10] He led one of the largest studies evaluating the immune response to influenza vaccination in pregnant women.[13] His work showed that the risk of flu halved in women given the flu vaccine. In addition, the risk to their newborns in the first 24 weeks of life was also reduced. The findings were presented at the 16th International Congress on Infectious Diseases and he reported that his "data support the recent WHO recommendation in terms of prioritizing pregnant women for influenza vaccination, not just for the protection of the mother, but protection of the infant as well".[14] Later, he became involved in the clinical development of a vaccine against Group B streptococcus for pregnant women.[3]

Tuberculosis

Other research has involved assessing the efficacy of various drug regimens to prevent tuberculosis (TB) in people with HIV.[15]

COVID-19

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he has been leading COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa, including the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine[16][17] and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine,[18][19] the first COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the continent of Africa.[20] Asserting that South Africa's second wave in December 2020 is largely driven by mass gatherings and changing people's behaviour, rather than solely on the new variant, he has called for a wider coverage of COVID-19 vaccination.[21] His co-authored publication on results of a large clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine suggest that the vaccine is safe and effective.[22] In 2021 he made it clear that the first and foremost method of ending COVID-19 in South Africa is to implement a mass vaccination programme.[23] On 1 January 2021 he tweeted "Ability of vaccines to impact on the pandemic is directly related to how soon you can get approx 50–60% of the population vaccinated."[23]

Awards and honours

Since 2012, he has been considered an internationally recognised scientist with an A-rating by the South Africa's National Research Foundation.[3] In 2014 he received the Platinum Medal, South African Medical Research Council's life-time award. In 2016 he received the European Developing Clinical Trial Partnership Scientific Award.[3]

Selected publications

Madhi has authored more than 350 publications between 1997 and 2018,[3] covering topics such as childhood vaccines, pneumonia, severe infections in young children and vaccination in pregnancy.[24]

Articles

References

  1. ^ a b c Curriculum Vitae: Shabir Madhi. World Association for Infectious Diseases and Immunological Disorders, via www.waidid.
  2. ^ a b c Saba, Athandiwe (5 September 2020). "Q&A Sessions: The accidental vaccinologist". The Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals: Professor Shabir A. Madhi". World Health Organization. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Prof Shabir Madhi". Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Shabir A. Madhi". The Conversation. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Reaearch Unit". www.rmpru.com. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Director of SAMRC extramural research unit appointed Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University". Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Biographies - Wits University". www.wits.ac.za. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  9. ^ a b Acton, Q. Ashton, ed. (2011). Pneumococcal Disease: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional: 2011 Edition: ScholarlyBrief. Atlanta, Georgia: Scholarly Editions. ISBN 978-1-4649-0303-8.
  10. ^ a b Dunne, Eileen M.; Pilishvili, Tamara; Adegbola, Richard A. (1 December 2020). "Assessing reduced-dose pneumococcal vaccine schedules in South Africa". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 20 (12): 1355–1357. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30577-6. ISSN 1473-3099. PMID 32857991. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Rotarix™ significantly reduced severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in African babies during their first year of life | GSK". www.gsk.com. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Rotavirus vaccine support". www.gavi.org. GAVI. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  13. ^ Edwards, K. M.; Creech, C. B. (2017). "8. Vaccine development in special populations". In Modjarrad, Kayvon; Koff, Wayne C. (eds.). Human Vaccines: Emerging Technologies in Design and Development. Elsevier. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-12-802302-0.
  14. ^ Harrison, Pam. "Vaccine Reduces Influenza Risk in Mothers and Newborns". Medscape. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  15. ^ Fox, Steven. "Limited Efficacy Seen for HIV-Related TB Prophylaxis". Medscape. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  16. ^ Makoni, Munyaradzi (1 November 2020). "COVID-19 vaccine trials in Africa". The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. 8 (11): e79–e80. doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30401-X. ISSN 2213-2600. PMC 7831818. PMID 32896275.
  17. ^ Callaway, Ewen; Mallapaty, Smriti (29 January 2021). "Novavax offers first evidence that COVID vaccines protect people against variants". Nature. p. 17. doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00268-9.
  18. ^ Harding, Andrew (4 January 2021). "Covid-19 in South Africa: Scientists seek to understand new variant". BBC News. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  19. ^ "South Africa Rolls Out Continent's First Trials for COVID-19 Vaccine". Medscape. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Trial of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa begins | University of Oxford". www.ox.ac.uk. 23 June 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  21. ^ Pilling, David (28 December 2020). "South Africa battles to control second Covid wave as cases top 1m". www.ft.com. Financial Times. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  22. ^ Ledford, Heidi (8 December 2020). "Oxford COVID-vaccine paper highlights lingering unknowns about results". Nature. 588 (7838): 378–379. doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03504-w. PMID 33293710.
  23. ^ a b Head, Tom (1 January 2021). "'SA may not get vaccines in 2021': Top virologist criticises Zweli Mkhize". The South African. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Professor Shabir Madhi". MPRU. Retrieved 5 January 2021.

External links

Media files used on this page

SARS-CoV-2 (Wikimedia colors).svg
Author/Creator: Geraki, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
SARS-CoV-2 logo in Wikimedia colors
Shabir Madhi for Fundación Civio.jpg
Author/Creator: Fundación Civio, Licence: CC BY 3.0
Shabir Madhi, Executive Director of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases