Brazil will start testing Chinese COVID-19 vaccine

Video Credit: Newsflare
Published on July 21, 2020 - Duration: 02:16s

Brazil will start testing Chinese COVID-19 vaccine

Brazil will begin advanced clinical testing of a Chinese-made vaccine against COVID-19, issuing the first doses to around 900 volunteers on Tuesday (July 21).

The COVID-19 vaccine, developed by private Chinese pharmaceutical firm 'Sinovac,' is the third in the world to enter Phase 3 trials (large-scale testing on humans), considered to be the last step before regulatory approval.

"Trials of CoronaVac, one of the vaccines that have advanced furthest in testing in the world, will begin at the Clinical Hospital of Sao Paulo," the state's governor, Joao Doria, told a news conference.

He said initial results were expected within 90 days.

It will be administered to doctors and other health workers who volunteer for the program across six states in Brazil, one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

Sinovac is partnering with a Brazilian public health research center, the Butantan Institute, on the trials.

If the vaccine proves safe and effective, the institute will have the right to produce 120 million doses under the deal, according to officials.

"In Brazil, we could have the first vaccine to be put to widespread use, which is very, very promising," said the head of the Butantan Institute, Dimas Covas.

Brazil is the second-hardest-hit country in the coronavirus pandemic, after the United States.

Its death toll surpassed 80,000 on Monday, and it has registered 2.1 million infections.

Those grim figures make it an ideal testing ground for potential vaccines since the virus is still spreading quickly.

Brazil is also helping carry out Phase 3 testing of another experimental vaccine, developed by Oxford University in Britain and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.

"Today is a historic day for São Paulo and Brazil, as well as for world science.

The Butantan Institute signed a technology agreement with the pharmaceutical giant Sinovac for the production of the coronavirus vaccine, Joao Doria, Governor of San Pablo said in Portuguese.

"Studies indicate that it will be available in the first half of 2021, until June of next year, and with this vaccine, we will be able to immunize millions of Brazilians".

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