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New S.African TB vaccine trials near completion

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – Scientists say the first advanced clinical trials in South Africa for tuberculosis vaccine are scheduled for completion by early next year.

South African researcher Dr. Hassan Mohomed says the trials will make medical history, even if the vaccine doesn’t work. He said the results will help scientists understand the world epidemic and form a key building block to hasten the eventual eradication of TB.

The government’s health department said at the launch Tuesday of a new global drive to find a vaccine that South Africa has the second highest rate of TB infection in the world after the tiny southern African nation of Swaziland. TB is the biggest killer of HIV-positive South Africans, whose resistance to disease is lowered.

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