The study study determined the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Uganda.

The study was done at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

The study found most of the patients with COVID-19 presented with mild disease and exhibited a clinical trajectory not similar to other countries

Link to publication:


2.    COVID-19 convalescent plasma project (CCP)

The aims of the project were:

        to assess the feasibility of collecting and processing of CCP, in preparation for a randomized clinical trial of CCP for treatment of COVID-19 in Uganda

        to determine the efficacy of CCP for treatment of COVID-19 in Uganda.

The findings were:

        CCP collection and processing is possible in Uganda. However, concerns about stigma and lack of time, interest or transport need to be addressed in order to maximize donations.

        CCP therapy did not result in beneficial virological or clinical improvements

Link to publications:


3.    Fluvoxamine study

A prospective interventional open-label cohort study to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of fluvoxamine among inpatients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in Uganda

The study found that 100mg of fluvoxamine bd for 10 days was well tolerated and was significantly associated with reduced mortality and with increased complete symptom resolution, without a significant increase in time to hospital discharge, among inpatients with COVID-19.

The study recommendation a large-scale randomized trials to confirm the findings, especially for low- and middle-income countries, where access to vaccines and approved treatments against COVID-19 is limited.

Link to publication:


4.    Therapeutics for Inpatients with COVID-19 (TICO)

The centre was part of the TICO clinical trial network. The centre participated in 2 trials:

        Efficacy and Safety of Ensovibep for Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19. This investigated if ensovibep, in addition to remdesivir and other standard care, improves clinical outcomes among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with standard care alone

The trial found that among patients hospitalised with COVID-19 receiving remdesivir and other standard care, tixagevimab–cilgavimab did not improve the primary outcome of time to sustained recovery but was safe and mortality was lower.

        Tixagevimab–cilgavimab for treatment of patients hospitalised with COVID-19: a randomised, double-blind, phase 3 trial. The trial compared tixagevimab–cilgavimab versus placebo, in patients receiving remdesivir and other standard care. The trial was prematurely stopped because of futility, limiting power for the primary outcome

Publication links: S2213-2600(22)00215-6


5.    UBV-01N trial

A clinical trial that assessed the preliminary safety and efficacy of a natural product, i.e. UBV-01N. The overall objective of the trial was to evaluate the preliminary safety and potential efficacy of UBV-01N in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in Uganda. The trial enrolled 124 participants



6.    Clinical trial of natural therapeutics (CONAT) Program

The main aim of the program is to conduct research that will accelerate the notification and licensing of Uganda’s natural medicines in order to improve the health of Ugandans and to harness the economic potential of natural medicines. The program objectives are:

(i)     To conduct clinical trials on natural therapeutics in humans

(ii)   To build capacity of product innovators/scientists and clinical trial sites

(iii) To coordinate activities of the natural therapeutics discovery in Uganda

The program is currently implementing a Phase 2a open -label clinical trial trial to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary efficacy of herbal products for the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections including SARS-CoV-2 in Uganda.


7.    COVID-19 vaccines effectiveness Project (COVEP)

The project estimated the effectiveness and determinants of effectiveness of China Manufactured and other COVID-19 vaccines in Uganda. The study was incorporated into the national influenza surveillance network and set up clinical study sites at 10 health facilities across Uganda. Dissemination of project findings is ongoing.


8.    Children COVID-19 vaccine study (CCV)

The overall objective of the project is to assess the safety, effectiveness, immunogenicity, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and its determinants among children in Uganda. The study is funded by Government of Uganda through Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI)


10. Solidarity against Ebola/‘TOKOMEZA Ebola

This was a ring vaccination trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Sudan ebolavirus vaccines in Uganda. It was sponsored by World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health-Uganda. The trial was initiated following the outbreak of Ebola in September 2023, but enrolment didn’t proceed as outbreak was declared over. Through this trial, capacity was established for vaccine research such as i.e.: Human resource, infrastructure and equipment.



The trial picks up from the Tokomeza trial (ring vaccination trial). Despite the Ebola outbreak being declared over and thus inability to ascertain the efficacy of Sudan Ebola vaccines, there remained unanswered questions e.g. questions around immunogenicity of the vaccines. TOKOMEZA Plus is a phase I/II Randomized Placebo controlled double blind trial to evaluate the Safety and Immunogenicity of Sudan Ebolavirus vaccines in Uganda. The trial is coordinated at the VERC and will be implemented through a consortium of institutions (Makerere University Lung Institute (MLI), Medical Research Council-Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC-UVRI), Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), Epicentre and International Aids Vaccine Initiative-Uganda Virus Research Institute (IAVI-UVRI).


12. Other initiatives

The Vaccine and Epidemics Research Centre (VERC) coordinates several research networks and consortia. These include: NIMBLE Epidemics consortium, AFRITRAC, AFRIVAC, ICER, ARFIVAC-CHIMS